By James Atkinson

The food and liquor businesses of Coles and Woolworths have recorded comparable sales growth for the first quarter of 2011-12.

Woolworths reported that its Australian Food and Liquor sales were $9.7 billion, an increase of $0.4 billion or 4.4 percent over last year.

Comparable store sales for the quarter increased 1.9 percent.

Woolworths general manager of liquor, Steve Greentree, said the division experienced 'pleasing growth across all brands, particularly Dan Murphy's and gained market share at an accelerated rate'.

"Our newest business, Cellarmasters, performed well with integration progressing ahead of schedule," he said.

Coles' headline food and liquor sales were $6.3 billion, up 5.5 percent on the previous corresponding period.

Comparable food and liquor store sales grew by 5.2 percent.

Woolworths opened six Dan Murphy's stores during the quarter, taking the total to 146, and said the company planned to open another eight Dan Murphy's prior to Christmas.

Coles meanwhile opened six new liquor stores and closed five during the period, taking the total number to 879.

Wesfarmers managing director, Richard Goyder, said Coles' food and liquor sales growth of 5.5 percent 'reflects the continued positive customer response to ongoing improvements across the business'.


The Shout Team

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

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