South Africa's Shoprite Group has reported a strong quarter of sales with turnover up 25.9% in the three months to the end of September.

The rate of growth recorded was identical to that in the same period last year. This enabled the group to grow market share in South Africa by 1.5%.

In a statement, Shoprite said that internal food inflation during the review period rose to 16.5%, double the 8.2% in the corresponding period. In the month of September, food inflation eased 0.4% lower than in the preceding two months.

Sales in the group's stores outside South Africa increased by 44.5% in rand terms.

"This growth was affected positively by the weakening of the rand against some of the major African currencies in which it trades," the statement said.

"The impact of global economic turbulence on the local market, the still high level of food inflation and the volatility of the rand against major trading currencies, make trading predictions for the nine months to June 2009 difficult," the company concluded.