Woolworths beat on sales creates fear on earnings

Never mind the quality, feel the width. Woolies discounting has investors worried about earnings

Long considered the laggard when it comes to growth, Woolworths has easily beaten expectations in its fourth quarter sales figures. But serious concerns have emerged about margins, raising fears of a lacklustre earnings result this year.

Released minutes before the market opened, the key statistic was supermarket performance which showed 2.9% growth on a comparable store basis in the fourth quarter. That was well up from expectations of 2.3% growth.

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