Woolworths’s share price had its biggest one-day gain in just over five years as it reported a stellar performance by its food division, with strong enough demand to allow it to boost prices, indicating a resilient food business in the wake of the Covid-19-induced economic slump.

In its half-year trading update, the upmarket retailer even reported market share gains and positive numbers in some of its Australian clothing stores, a part of the business that has been a strain on performance and contributed to the departure of its former CEO. The price closed at R44.72, 10.91% higher than its Friday closing, and the biggest gain since closing more than 13% higher on December 14 2015. ..

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