Australian retailer Coles Myer has said it expects annual profit growth of up to 16% for the current fiscal year.

The company said it was counting on its new fuel and convenience store business to help it pull ahead of its main rival Woolworths.

Earnings are also being supported by better sales at its Myer Grace department stores, and a focus on higher-margin fresh food, the company said.

Coles Myer expects full-year net profit after supply chain revamp costs to be between A$520m (US$373.8m) and $530m, up 14-16% from $455.6m a year earlier, and in line with analysts' forecasts of a 15.5% rise in net profit to $526m, reported Reuters.

Last week, Woolworths said it is expecting a 10-15% rise in full-year net profit.

Coles Myer chief executive John Fletcher said the company was "pretty hopeful" that sales in the lucrative Christmas period would be higher than last year.