Australian supermarket giant Woolworths has reported a first-quarter sales increase of 14.3% compared to a year earlier.

The company’s total sales were A$6.7bn (US$3.7bn) in the 14-week period to 6 October, up from $5.8bn in the same period last year. The growth was in line with expectations.

Like-for-like sales in Woolworths’ food and liquor division rose 5.5% to $5.4bn, excluding new stores opened in the last year, also meeting expectations.

Looking to the near future, company CEO Roger Corbett said that he expects Woolworths’ performance in the coming Christmas trading period to beat last year’s.

“We expect a good solid Christmas this year,” Corbett told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview, adding that the second quarter is a “very important part of the retail year.”

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