Australian retailer Woolworths has revealed positive sales increases over the last year. The supermarket chain announced that the company had seen a 12.5 per cent increase in profits from $1.53 billion to $1.72 billion this year.

The increase in profits from the company will see shareholders receive a  50-cent final dividend payment that matches the first half distribution, in addition to a one-off special dividend payment of 10 per cent.

Getting new customers in the store was key to the supermarket's growth according to Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci

"All businesses saw an increase in customer satisfaction and traffic during the year. This has led to strong sales and EBIT growth, and a significant reduction in net debt, even as we invest in strategic initiatives focused on delivering sustainable growth into the future,” he said.

Woolworths expects to see continued growth as customer adjust to the phasing out of plastic bags. The first quarter of the financial year saw the supermarket’s sales in decline as customer outrage due to the banning of plastic bags hit an all-time high. However, momentum improved as consumers began to adjust.

Other major grocery retailer Coles posted only a 2.1 per cent sales growth.