Big W's first half results were boosted by big calendar events including Christmas and Halloween, parent Woolworths Group has reported. 

The retailer's focus on family, community and a simplified customer offer also contributed to its results during the half, which saw it deliver a 20.1% increase in sales to $2.6 billion.

Big W also recorded a 165.7% increase in EBIT to $133 million in the period. 

Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci welcomed the positive results. 

"Big W had a very strong half with all key metrics improving, including positive momentum in customer metrics, sales growth of 20.1% and EBIT growth of 166%.

"EBIT growth was driven by strong sales, gross margin improvements and good cost control despite higher COVID-related costs.

"Sales increased in all destination areas and were buoyed by seasonal sales events such as Halloween, Click Frenzy, Big Sale (Black Friday) and Christmas," he said. 

Big W's eCommerce sales also increased during the half, jumping up 120% with digital penetration at 9.5%. 

Helping to drive this growth was an acceleration of digital capabilities including contactless drive-up pick-up, the direct to boot launch across 75 locations and the rollout of same day delivery.

On the store side, Big W also made investments into 22 stores, enhancing the fixtures and layouts in apparel, baby and home categories. 

Meanwhile, the business also distributed 2.4 million books through its 'free books for kids' initiative, donated 1000 backpacks for back to school and donated 360,000 items to local charities through partner Good360.

Overall, Big W reported gross margin at 33.7%, up 118 basis points. 

EBITDA increased 61.7% to $224 million in the half, while EBIT to sales was 5.1%, up 282 basis points. 

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