Despite reporting a 14 per cent fall in first-half year profit, Metcash has upgraded its financial forecast for the full year to low-to-mid single digit growth.

Metcash reported that it achieved a 2.2 per cent rise in wholesale sales from $5.94 billion to $6.07 billion. It also lifted earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) 2.2 per cent from $199.4 million for the first half of 2011 to $203.7 million for the first half of 2012.

“We continue to face price deflation across a range of categories. There is no doubt that consumers are remaining price conscious in such an uncertain economic climate,” Andrew Reitzer, Metcash CEO, said.

Its IGA Fresh business continues to grow in both sales and customer numbers after seeing complete integration of a single IT platform

The company also said it will continue its concentration on its “Locked Down Low Prices” promotional campaign that was relaunched and is expected to give sales an additional boost in the second half of 2012.

Meanwhile, its Australian Liquor Marketers (ALM) business saw sales grow 1.2 per cent from $1.1 billion to $1.11 billion. IGA Liquor grew 4 percent, Cellarbrations 3 percent and The Bottle-O grew by 1.3 percent from the same period in 2011

While Campbells Wholesale experienced sales growth of 3.8 pe rcent from $819 million in the first half of 2011 to $850 million, EBITA fell 35 per cent on the corresponding period.

According to Metcash, this result is largely due to the accelerating decline in traditional cash and carry markets.

The turnaround of the Mitre 10 hardware business also continued with sales growing 6.5 per cent compared to the same period last year to reach sales of $427 million.