Coles Group posted a rise of 4.9% in sales to Aus$7.49bn (£4.5bn) for its first quarter ended September 26. The retailer’s strong performance was attributed to lower prices and last year’s revamping of its fresh food areas. Growth rates at the chain proved to be outpacing larger rival Woolworths as Coles supermarkets’ like-for-like sales grew 6.2%. Sales within its office supplies division grew 9.1% to Aus$330m (£198m), while at department store chain Target sales fell 1.4% to Aus$847m (£508m) compared with the same time last year.