Australia's Myer Holdings Q1 sales fall 4.8 pct on year

Nov 16 (Reuters) - Top Aussie department store chain Myer Holdings Ltd said on Friday its total sales fell in the first quarter but online sales advanced.

This came after the Australian Stock Exchange requested the company to respond to a report here by the Australian Financial Review that sales declined 5.5 percent from a year earlier.

Total quarterly sales fell 4.8 percent from a year earlier in value terms and comparable sales slid 4.3 percent. However, total online sales rose 3.6 percent.

“Our focus is on profitability and we will not chase unprofitable sales just to hit our top-line sales number,” Chief Executive Officer John King said.

The company has recently sailed troubled waters, having seen write-downs and competition from cheaper online rivals weighing on its results. (Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)