Woolworths posted an 11.4% increase in first-half net profit to Aus$1.09bn (£654.2m).

The Australian retailer is planning an Aus$400m (£240.1m) share buyback, which it described as a modest start to capital management, now that the worst of the economic turmoil has passed.

Woolworths forecast sales growth in the upper single digits, marking a recovery after the recent slowdown, and reaffirmed that it expects net profit growth of 8% to 11% this financial year.