South African retailer Woolworths Holdings has booked a rise in underlying earnings on increasing sales as it announced the retirement of its CEO.

The company yesterday (26 August) posted headline earnings per share - the key measure of profit in South Africa of 109.3 cents for the year to 30 June, a fall of 4.9%.

However, once stripping out a special dividend charge and losses on foreign exchange, adjusted earnings per share rose 13.9% to 126 cents. Revenue inched up 0.8% to ZAR21.92bn (US$2.78bn).

Woolworths said CEO Simon Susman would quit the role in November next year when he reaches retirement age.

Susman, however, will remain at the business in the newly-created role of deputy chairman.