Swedish supermarket group Axfood has posted an operating profit of SKr752m (US$80.2m) for the first nine months of 2002, compared to SKr498m for the same period last year.

The company's turnover was up to SKr24.54bn for the first nine months of 2002 from SKr23.87bn for the previous year.

Axfood has also announced that it has made an agreement to acquire three stores from low-price grocery chain Matex.

The stores, which are located in Soderkoping and Norrkoping in Sweden, have a combined turnover of around SKr500m.

The stores will become part of Axfood Willys chain following the acquisition.