Woolworths Ltd has booked an increase in first-quarter sales driven by increased store traffic and effective promotional activity.

In the three months to the end of September group sales increased 4.3% to A$15.22bn (US$15.79bn), the company reported today (18 October).

Food and liquor sales were up 4.6%, with like-for-like growth of 2.3%.

Woolworths said effective promotional activities and the return to inflation in produce helped drive results.

Sales at Woolworth’s Big W discount department store chain rose 6.2% to A$1.1bn, boosted by increased customer traffic and volumes of items sold, it said.

“This was a pleasing start to the year with momentum created towards the end of the last financial year continuing through the first quarter,” said CEO Grant O’Brien. “While we have made progress against our strategic priorities, there is still a great deal to do in our business transformation programmes.”

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