February 19, 2019 / 9:30 PM / 5 months ago

Australia's Woolworths H1 underlying profit rises near 2 pct

Feb 20 (Reuters) - Australia’s biggest grocery chain Woolworths Ltd on Wednesday said first-half underlying profit rose near 2 percent as sales deals and price cuts increased footfall.

The grocer reported continuing operations’ net profit of A$920 million ($659.18 million) for the six months to Dec. 31, compared with A$902 million a year earlier.

Woolworths, which operates over 3000 stores across Australia, said comparable grocery sales growth was 2.3 percent in the half-year, lagging Coles Group Ltd’s 3 percent rise in the same period. ($1 = 1.3957 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Chris Reese

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