MELBOURNE, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Australia’s Wesfarmers Ltd said like-for-like sales at its Coles supermarkets grew 3.9 percent in its fiscal second quarter as a long-running price war enticed cost-conscious shoppers and boosted sales volumes.
That was close to average market forecasts for 4 percent growth, according to a Reuters survey of four analysts.
Australian retailers in general have been forced to deeply discount and accept shrunken profit margins as consumers respond to economic uncertainty and falling home and share market values by freezing spending.
The retail-to-coal company said food-and-liquor price deflation was 0.9 percent in the second quarter, compared with 3.2 percent in the first. Wesfarmers has said a rise in fresh produce prices would slow price deflation through the course of the year.
The stock closed Tuesday at A$38.82, off a March low of A$28.25. (Reporting by Miranda Maxwell; Editing by John Mair)