Roger Corbett, CEO of leading Australian grocer Woolworths, said the company remains on track to report double-digit growth in full-year net profits.

Annual percentage sales growth is expected to be in high single digits, and shareholder returns are predicted to continue to grow.

The ‘Project Refresh’ cost-efficiency programme has turned its focus to making savings in Woolworth’s supply chain and logistics operations, Corbett said.

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, Corbett confirmed plans to open 15 to 25 new supermarkets a year for the foreseeable future. The group has launched some smaller stores based on the Big W discount format, and this is proving popular with customers in rural areas. Accordingly, Woolworths plans to open 40 more rural stores, reported Reuters.