Swedish retailer Axfood posted a 2.5% increase in net sales today (17 April) for the first quarter but saw like-for-like sales fall.

For the period January to March, consolidated net sales amounted to SEK7.68bn (US$912m) from SEK7.49bn in the comparable period of the previous year.

Axfood’s stores (group-owned and Hemköp franchises) posted a 2.8% increase in sales. However, sales on a like-for-like basis fell 1%.

Hemköp’s sales decreased by 3.3% for the month of March, with a 3.5% decrease in like-for-like sales. Accumulated sales decreased by 2.8%, with a 3.4% decrease in like-for-like sales.

Willys’ sales rose 2.1% during the month, with a 1.9% decrease in like-for-like sales, and PrisXtra’s sales rose 3.2% during the month, with an 11.5% decrease in like-for-like sales.

In February, Axfood announced the launch of an own-label line made up entirely of products that have been certified fairtrade.

The brand, Aware, is available through Axfood’s Hemköp, Willys, Willys Home and PrisXtra banners.