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Metcash sells auto business to Burson for USD212m

Metcash chief executive Ian Morrice says a 5-year plan to restore growth by cutting grocery prices and refurbishing stores is gaining traction with consumers but profits are expected to fall this year and a rebound in 2017 will depend on a price war between the major supermarket chains.

Mr Morrice said same-store sales had risen for the first time in three years at IGA stores that had cut prices, stocked a wider range of private label groceries and improved their fresh food range to regain market share lost to Coles, Woolworths and Aldi.

"We’re encouraged by these early results," Mr Morrice said on Monday after unveiling a bottom-line loss of AUD384.2 million (USD296.8m) for the 12 months ended April, and the sale of its auto business to Burson Group for AUD275 million.

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