Australian retail giant Coles Myer has reported a first-quarter sales rise of 7.3% in line with market forecasts.

The company posted sales for the 13 weeks ended 27 October up to A$6.3bn (US$3.5bn) from $5.9bn a year ago, and attributed the rise to market share gains and better margins. Comparable store sales were up 4.2% in the first quarter. First-quarter sales in the company’s food and liquor division rose 7.3% to $4.0bn, compared to a growth of 8.6% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

CEO John Fletcher told a teleconference that he expected higher sales than last year in the important Christmas season, reported Reuters.

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