Australian supermarket operator Foodland Associated has reported a 14% rise in first-quarter earnings and forecast double-digit growth through the first half.

Chairman Don Humphreys said the group’s earnings before interest, tax and goodwill amortisation from continuing operations rose 14% in the first quarter compared to a year earlier, reported Reuters.

“This trend is expected to continue for the first half, with EBITA expected to show double-digit growth,” Humphreys was quoted as saying.

However, Humphreys also said that Foodland’s earnings performance would depend on the exchange rate between the Australian and New Zealand dollars.

He added that the company’s 42 supermarkets in Queensland were not meeting Foodland’s long-term expectations, although their profitability continued to improve.