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By James Atkinson

Woolworths Liquor has reported another quarter of "pleasing" growth across all its brands, but pubs division ALH Group experienced flat comparable sales growth for the period.

Woolworths' Australian Food and Liquor sales for the third quarter of 2011-12 were $9.4 billion, an increase of $0.3 billion or 2.9 per cent.

The retailer opened two Dan Murphy's during the quarter, taking the national total to 156.

"Dan Murphy's performed well with strong sales growth delivered by the beer and spirits categories as well as own brand liquor," said Woolworths Liquor director Steve Greentree.

The retailer revealed it plans to open seven more Dan Murphy's in the final quarter of the 2011-12 financial year.

Australian Leisure & Hospitality (ALH) reported sales of $295 million, an increase of 4.6 per cent on the previous year.

But the division's comparable sales increased by just 0.7 per cent for the quarter, compared with 8.1 per cent in the previous corresponding period.

Woolworths said this reflected "more cautious consumer spending, industry changes in Victoria in the lead up to the August 2012 regulatory change and cycling of the Queensland natural disasters".

ALH Group CEO Bruce Mathieson Jnr said overall sales growth for the business had been pleasing as the company integrated the newly acquired Compass Group.

ALH recently revealed it would sell one of the WA pubs acquired under the Compass deal.

The Shout Team

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

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