H1 sales up 6% at Woolworths

According to its first half year sales results, Woolworths Limited witnessed a 6 per cent increase to $27.2 billion for the 27 weeks to 3 January 2010. Sales across Woolworths, Big W and Dick Smith stores all showed signs of growth for the period.

Woolworths CEO and managing director, Michael Luscombe, commented on the positive results.

“We are pleased with this result which reflects Woolworths’ clear focus on delivering sustainable growth. Consumers continue to put their trust in Woolworths’ retail brands for value, range and service for all their everyday needs,” he said.

“In Australia, this quarter’s sales result is a strong indication of the positive impact of the Australian Government’s stimulus package in 2008, which underpinned high consumer confidence during the global economic downturn and helped to safeguard jobs across the retail industry. Due to our customer focus, we are very well positioned and therefore received a clear benefit from the stimulus package in the prior financial year.”

Big W was a strong performer for the company over the period, with a 2.3 per cent increase in sales.

“Big W maintained, and in some cases improved, its competitive pricing position in the market. The repositioning of Big W in prior year places it in an ideal position to offer customers a great range of merchandise at low prices,” said the company in a statement.

Three Big W stores opened over the period taking the total number to 159.

Consumer electronics was also on the rise, with a growth of 5.9 per cent for the period. Australian consumer electronic sales were up 4.3 per cent during the half.

Australian Dick Smith stores (excluding Tandy and ex Powerhouse stores) achieved comparable sales of 12.2 per cent for the half and 7.2 per cent of the second quarter.

“The result reflects the strong customer acceptance of the continued roll out of our new refreshed Dick Smith offer,” said the company in a statement.

The new format Dick Smith stores continue to grow sales at a greater rate than our older Dick Smith format stores. Categories that had pleasing results included computer, entertainment and gaming.”

Online retailing across all of Woolworths’ retail trading divisions also performed exceedingly well with online sales increasing 41 per cent for the half.

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