Woolworths today announced half year sales growth of 8.8 per cent from continuing operations, while total sales for the company, which also owns Dick Smith Electronics and Big W, in the first half rose to $26.11 billion from $23.99 billion a year earlier.

“Woolworths has continued to reinvest in all its businesses to improve our stores, create jobs, add services, deliver value, and create an even better shopping experience for our customers. This is a pleasing result in a more challenging economic environment and I am confident that we are well positioned to meet future challenges,” said CEO and managing director, Michael Luscombe.

The retailer says it is mindful that discretionary spending continues to be influenced by macroeconomic factors and by the recent events in global financial markets.

“Factors such as inflation, fluctuating petrol prices, interest rates, rising unemployment and consumer confidence levels are very difficult to predict in the current environment.
Subject to the uncertainty regarding these factors, we expect sales from continuing operations to grow in the upper single digits (excluding petrol sales) on a 52-week basis,” the company said in a statement.