Sales at the country’s largest retailer Woolworths climbed 5.9 per cent to Aus$12bn (£5.81bn) in the 13 weeks to April 5.

Its Australian Food and Liquor division achieved a 10 per cent hike in sales, with like-for-likes climbing 7.9 per cent. Like-for-likes at its New Zealand Supermarkets arm rose 3 per cent. At its discount chain Big W, sales increased 9 per cent and like-for-likes rose 6 per cent, while sales at its Total Consumer Electronics fascia jumped 16 per cent.