Australia’s largest retailer Coles Myer has beaten its own forecasts with a 44% rise in annual net profit, which it attributes to strong retail conditions for its supermarkets and department stores, cost cutting and a discount fuel offer.

Net profit before tax rose 27% to AUD576.5m ($400.5m) on sales of AUD32.3bn ($22.8bn) for the year to July 25 from a net profit of AUD455.6m ($316.5) a year earlier. The retailer had expected an annual result of AUD565m ($392.5m).

One of its strongest areas was in food and alcohol, which saw a rise in profit of 12.5%, which was the strongest annual growth in six years. It also noted substantial profit growth in non-food brands.

“This is the highest annual profit in Coles Myer’s history, an outstanding result in which all of our major businesses have significantly improved their quality of sales and earnings,” said Coles Myer chief executive officer John Fletcher.

The company plans to continue with its revamp of its supermarkets, which includes a focus on its fresh food offerings.