By Andrew Starke
Woolworths this week reported that its Australian Food and Liquor division had grown market share, with sales for the first half of the 2010/2011 financial year increasing 3.5 percent to $18.7 billion.
However the giant retailer downgraded its half and full year earnings guidance, citing lower consumer confidence, higher inflation and uncertainty around the full impact of the floods in Queensland and Victoria.
CEO and managing director Michael Luscombe said he was pleased the company had managed to increase its market share in the liquor sector.
“Deflation in average Food and Liquor prices has continued while significant deflation in key categories of general merchandise has been intensified by a strong Australian dollar,” he said.
“Overlaying these economic conditions is unseasonably poor weather in Australia in the last quarter curtailing summer spending in December.”
Comparable store sales in Food and Liquor increased 2.2 percent during the half year and 2.5 percent for the second quarter.
Twelve new supermarkets were opened during the half year taking the total to 832.
Woolworths also opened twelve new Dan Murphy’s stores taking the total to 133.