Australian grocer Foodland today [Friday] reported a 1.4% rise in sales from continued operations to A$1.47bn (US$1.01bn) in its third quarter.

Total group sales for the quarter came in at $1.466bn, down from $1.62bn, including discontinued operations. Year-to-date group sales stood at $4.56bn, down from €4.84bn.

Sales from ongoing operations in the first nine months totalled $4.42bn, up 3.3% from the $4.28bn of a year ago, the group said.

Sales from its Australian Action grocery division climbed an impressive 9.5% in the quarter under review to $335.5m, although this was offset slightly by a 0.5% decline in the performance of the company’s New Zealand supermarkets business.

Chief executive officer Trevor Coates commented: “Competitive activity in Queensland, Western Australia and New Zealand has been intense. Indications are that market growth for packaged groceries excluding tobacco has fallen to 2% in Queensland and remained at 4% in Western Australia, reflecting both low food inflation and declining consumer sentiment.”

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Coates added that the strong Australian dollar negatively impacted sales from operations in New Zealand when converted.