JOHANNESBURG - Retailer Woolworths said on Thursday sales for the 20 weeks ended November 11 increased by 2.7 percent compared with the same period last year.

In South Africa, Woolworths Fashion, Beauty and Home sales declined by 3.3 percent, with price movement of four percent. Comparable store sales were 3.9 percent lower, with net retail space growth of 0.5 percent.

"While sales for the first quarter ended 23 September 2018 were affected by a significantly smaller winter sale, regular sales in October, particularly in womenswear, have shown a positive trend," the company said.

Woolworths Food sales increased by 7.2 percent in the period under review, with volume growth driven by low inflation and higher levels of promotion. 

The group said David Jones sales momentum had continued into the new financial year, with sales increasing by 2.9 percent.

Online sales were up 48.4 percent, and now contributed 5.2 percent, up from 3.6 percent of sales in the prior period.

Woolworths said earnings per share (EPS) were expected to be more than 100 perent or more than 505.9 cents higher than the reported EPS for the 26-week period ended 24 December 2017 and more than 150 percent higher than the reported EPS for the 52-week period ended 24 June 2018.

- African News Agency (ANA)