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Australian supermarket Coles Myer today (Thursday) announced a 15.5% rise in profit after tax to A$403.8m (US$319.8m) for the first half ended 23 January 2005, compared with $349.5m in the year earlier period.

Sales were $18.345bn, compared with $15.684bn in the same period a year ago.

“This is an outstanding result in which all of our major businesses have continued to increase their earnings in a highly competitive retail market across all sectors,” said Coles Myer CEO John Fletcher.

“Our food and liquor business continues to grow strongly; our newest business, Coles Express, has been a spectacular success and our non-food brands have produced exceptional results,” he said. 

The Food and Liquor business reported strong growth, up 9.6% to $351.7 million.