Retail and wholesale group Massmart - in which a 51% majority stake is expected to be acquired by Walmart by April this year - has announced a 13.3% sales increase for the first half of its current financial year. Sales rose to R27.37bn (£2.4bn) in the period to December 26, 2010 and like-for-like sales jumped 7.3%, while operating profit before exchange losses soared 12.7%. Massmart closed the first half with a total store count of 308, following one store closure, 16 store openings and five outlet acquisitions.