(Adds details from statement)
BRUSSELS Jan 28 Belgian discount retailer
Colruyt said its home market share rose in the first
nine months of its financial year, as cost-conscious shoppers
flocked to its stores in the run-up to Christmas.
The group's French wholesale business had strong sales,
Colruyt also said on Monday, causing the group's food service
activities to grow sales faster than the retail operations.
In France, Colruyt also grew sales at its retail business,
mainly through the expansion of stores, it said.
Nine-month group sales rose 6.1 percent to 6.26 billion
euros ($8.4 billion), compared with a forecast for 6.28 billion
in a Reuters poll.
Colruyt, which operates 321 supermarkets in Belgium and 61
in France, competes with German hard discounters Aldi and Lidl
and upmarket chains Carrefour and Delhaize.
($1 = 0.7429 euro)
(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Dan Lalor)