Australian grocery retailer Woolworths has reported disappointing full-year sales, hit by heightened competition from its main rival Coles Myer.

Woolworths reported sales from continuing operations of A$27.80bn (US$20.4bn) for the year to 27 June, compared to $26.04bn a year earlier. Food and liquor sales rose 4.6% to $22bn, while comparable store sales rose 2.6%. The results were at the mid to low end of market expectations, reported Dow Jones News.

Fourth-quarter sales from continuing operations increased 6.3% to $6.38bn, while fourth-quarter comparable store sales rose 1.5%.

CEO Roger Corbett said he was happy with the result, which was affected by the launch of a major fuel discount programme by Coles Myer.

“I think we’ve managed what was a major rebalancing, or in the process of managing what was a major rebalancing in terms of the petrol position in the market place satisfactorily, if not well,” Corbett was quoted by Dow Jones as saying.