JOHANNESBURG – Retailer Woolworths said on Thursday group sales for the 26 weeks ended December 23 increased by 1.9 percent compared to the same period in 2017.

Woolworths, which will announce its interim financial results on or about February 21, said sales growth was impacted by one day less of pre-Christmas trade, compared to the previous year.

In South Africa, Woolworths Fashion and Beauty and Home sales declined by two percent, impacted by a significantly smaller winter clearance sale in the first quarter. Sales in the second quarter, however, showed positive growth. 

Woolworths Food sales increased by 6.3 percent, with volume growth driven by low inflation, higher levels of promotions and price investment. David Jones sales increased by one percent, with sales performance weakening in line with the rest of the retail market in the final weeks leading up to Christmas. 

The company said it expected headline earnings per share to be as much as five percent lower, while adjusted diluted HEPS would drop by 7.5 to 12.5 percent.

African News Agency (ANA)