By James Atkinson

Both Woolworths and Coles will report a slowdown in comparable liquor sales for the fourth quarter of the 2012-13 financial year, analysts have forecast.

Citi analysts led by Craig Woolford forecast Woolworths Food & Liquor's comparable store sales to grow 2.7 per cent in the fourth quarter ended June 31, compared with 3.1 per cent growth in the third quarter (Easter-adjusted).

The analysts said industry growth has slowed by 20 basis points and Woolworths has slowed slightly faster than that.

"We also note a slowdown for Woolworths' liquor business in the past six months based on industry feedback," they said.

The Citi analysts expect Coles has slowed by a similar amount, forecasting comparable store sales of 4.9 per cent for the fourth quarter.

They predicted another strong quarter in Woolies' hotels business, Australian Leisure & Hospitality Group, driven by the Victorian gaming law changes in August 2012.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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