Nov 15 (Reuters) - Canadian food and pharmacy retailer Loblaw on Wednesday reported a 5% increase in third-quarter revenue, aided by robust demand for drugs as well as discounted groceries at its stores.

The company maintained its annual target for adjusted net earnings per share to grow in the low double digits and expects profits in its retail business to grow faster than sales.

Soaring food prices and higher borrowing costs have pushed customers to trade down to private-label alternatives at Loblaw and prioritize buying essential grocery items.

Loblaw reported 4.5% same-store sales growth in its food segment, while its pharmacy same-store sales rose 7.4% in the quarter, driven by a steady demand for over-the-counter drugs and private-label food brands.

Recently, Canada's large grocery chains including Loblaw agreed to help the government to stabilize rising food prices. They said the price increases have been largely because of higher input costs passed on to the companies by vendors.

Net income attributable to Loblaw rose 11.7% to C$621 million ($453.85 million) in the quarter ended Oct. 7. On an adjusted basis, it earned C$2.26 per share, edging past analysts' average estimate of C$2.22, according to LSEG data.

The Canadian retailer's revenue came in at C$18.27 billion, up from C$13.73 billion, a year earlier. Analysts on average had expected C$18.26 billion, according to LSEG data.

($1 = 1.3689 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Annett Mary Manoj in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)