Woolworths, the high street retailer, is showing signs of a turnaround despite reporting sluggish results. It reported a 0.6% decline in like-for-like sales for the 17 weeks to June 2 but it is an improvement on the 6.7% drop in sales it reported last year.
It reported an 11.4% increase in total group sales for the retail, entertainment wholesale and publishing businesses compared to a 0.4% last year. It is expecting total sales for its entertainment wholesale business to exceed £1.5bn this year.
The company has launched a number of new products in recent months including an online travel service and its Worth It value range in a bid to beat off increasing competition from the supermarkets.
Woolworths’ group chairman Gerald Corbett says despite a solid start to the year the company was approaching the second half with a degree of caution because “it is difficult to predict the retail environment going forward.”