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Woolworths 20-week sales jump 48% on Australia deal

Woolworths has endured a downturn in consumer spending due to its core market of affluent shoppers.

FILE: Woolworths acquired Australia’s second-largest apparel retailer earlier this year. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's Woolworths Holdings reported a 48 percent jump in sales for the first 20 weeks of its financial year on Thursday, lifted by the acquisition of Australia's David Jones.

Woolworths has been able to ride out a downturn in consumer spending thanks to its core market of affluent shoppers.

The company acquired Australia's second-largest apparel retailer earlier this year, creating a southern hemisphere powerhouse with an estimated $5.6 billion in annual sales.

Excluding the impact of David Jones, sales for the 20 weeks to 16 November rose 11.9 percent, Woolworths said in a statement, below the 14 percent full-year sales growth it posted in August.

Shares of the retailer slumped nearly three percent by 0952 GMT as investors focused on the slower growth at home. Woolworths's shares are up around 11 percent this year, outperforming a six percent increase in the benchmark Top-40 index.