Woolworths has lifted its supermarket food and liquor sales by 3.
9 per cent to $11 billion, despite softer trading for most of the September quarter.
Woolworth’s total first quarter sales rose three per cent to $16.15 billion.
However, while its supermarket sales were up, petrol sales dropped 4.5 per cent to $1.8 billion after Woolworths was ordered by the competition watchdog to reduce the discounts it offered.
The retailer’s Masters hardware chain lifted sales by 30.8 per cent to $238 million, but sales from its hotels business dipped one per cent to $399 million.
Chief executive Grant O’Brien said that while first quarter sales were lower than expected, he was confident momentum would improve in the lead-up to Christmas.
“Following a pleasing July result, trading was softer in August and September with growth impacted by differences in the timing of promotional activities compared to the prior year and the cycling of higher fuel discount activity,” he said on Monday.
“While first quarter sales were lower than expected, we are confident that our trading plans will improve momentum in the second quarter which includes the key Christmas period.”
Sales at Big W were flat during the quarter at $1.1 billion, with work on transforming the business again adversely impacting results.
Comparable sales, which strip out the effects of store openings and closures, fell 4.1 per cent.
Woolworths expects its Big W transformation plan to continue to affect results in 2015.
Shares in Woolworths were $1.12, or 3.1 per cent, lower at $34.88 at 1011 AEDT.