Leading South African apparel chain Truworths on Wednesday posted a 16 per cent climb in full year sales to 2.3 billion rand ($295 million) from the year-ago period.

The company, which will release its full results on August 21, said while fiscal 2003 had 52 weeks, fiscal 2002 had 53 weeks and if the final week of trading was ignored then its sales growth would have been 18.7 per cent.

"As predicted, sales growth slowed in most product categories during the second half as a result of declining price inflation and softening consumer demand as a result of high real interest rates," it said in a news release.