Australian supermarket group Woolworths has reported a 13% rise in first-half profit, despite fierce competition from rival Coles Myer .


Woolworths posted net profit of A$420m (US$324m) for the first half to 11 January, compared to $372m a year earlier, narrowly missing analysts’ expectations of $425m net profit, reported Reuters.


The retailer, which has been undergoing a cost savings plan, reiterated its forecast of annual earnings per share growth of 12-15%.


Woolworths is currently in a fierce battle with Coles Myer, as both retailers attempt to increase their share of Australia’s $65bn food retail market. Woolworths currently has a 38% market share, while Coles Myer has a 31% share.