Australian retailer Woolworths Ltd said it expects to see an improvement in earnings in its new financial year after booking an increase in full-year profits.

Earnings in the 12 months to the end of June reached A$1.26bn (US$1.12bn), a 22.8% increase on the prior year period.

EBITDA climbed 9.2% to A$4.23bn. CEO Grant O’Brien said the “strong” results were delivered against a backdrop of “challenging retail conditions and high levels of consumer uncertainty”.

Sales from continuing operations reached A$58.5bn, up 6.8% on the prior year.

“We have seen good momentum across the group with higher comparable sales and stronger profit growth,” said O’Brien. “This result demonstrates increased momentum across the group that shows Woolworths will continue to generate sustainable profit growth into the future.”

Woolworths said it is hopeful of a “modest” improvement in market conditions over the course of the current fiscal year, lifting profit 4% to 7%, stripping out one-time items.

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