24 Jul 2012

Strong NZ growth reported by Woolworths

7:02 am on 24 July 2012

Woolworths says it expects its New Zealand operations to continue to grow strongly this financial year, despite flat demand.

Retail data from the Countdown chain run by Progressive Enterprises show that sales rose 3.3% in the year to the end of June for stores which have been open for more than a year.

Overal New Zealand supermarket sales for the same period increased by 3% to $5.5 billion.

Woolworth's chief executive, Grant O'Brien, says comparable sales for the last quarter grew by just 0.6%, affected by decreasing inflation and competitor store openings.

He says its New Zealand business has out-performed the market in this country quite substantially in recent years and the Woolworths chain is leading its competitors.

Overall Woolworths annual sales rose 4.7% to $A56.7 billion.