Coles has seen its food and liquor sales for the second quarter rise 6.7 per cent on the previous corresponding period to $7 billion, beating arch rival supermarket chain Woolworths whose second quarter sales growth reached only 3.5 per cent.

The results come as Coles owner, Wesfarmers, announced its retail sales results for the second quarter of the 2011 financial year.

“Coles continues to build on the momentum of its turnaround program delivering food and liquor comparable store sales growth of 6.6 per cent for the second quarter,” Wesfarmers chief executive Richard Goyder said.

“Trading for the quarter, including a very strong Christmas week, was driven by ongoing product innovation, improving store standards and availability and continuing investment in value for customers.”

Coles managing director Ian McLeod said he was very pleased with the sales result given virtually flat store space growth during the period.

“Coles succeeded in attracting thousands of new customers to our stores in the lead up to Christmas by offering a broader Christmas range, high quality fresh produce and lower prices. As a result, we achieved double digit headline sales growth in the Christmas week,” he said.

The supermarket giant has now recorded ten consecutive quarters of comparable store sales growth.

Solid outcomes were also seen by Wesfarmers’ hardware group Bunnings with a headlines sales growth of 4.8 per cent with store-on-store growth of 2.4 per cent.

“This was a solid outcome considering the comparison to 11.1 per cent total sales growth achieved in the previous corresponding period and wet and cool weather on the east coast for much of the current period,” Goyder said.

Similarly, as the company’s Officeworks continues to work on improving customer offer and expands its store network, it has managed to see its second quarter up 4.2 per cent on the previous corresponding period to $346 million.

However, difficult trading conditions, including strong deflationary pricing and unseasonable wet and cool weather on the east coast of Australia impacted on Wesfarmers’s Target and Kmart.

For the December quarter, sales for Target dropped 4.2 per cent bellowing the previous corresponding period to $1.3 billion. While Kmart traded a little better, results were still sluggish with sales up 0.8 per cent to $1.4 billion.

Target managing director Launa Inman said trading remained difficult for Target throughout the quarter, with seasonal product sales, particularly apparel, affected by unusually cool conditions in the eastern states.