South African clothing chains Woolworths and Truworths on Tuesday both reported sharp rises in their six month sales results.

Woolworths reported a 20 per cent year-on-year jump and Truworths a 23.3 per cent increase in sales from the year-ago period.

"Trading conditions for six months were competitive with considerable discounting and promotional activity from major department stores particularly in the second quarter," said Woolworths

Truworths, which said its sales grew 21 per cent in November and December alone, added: "This was achieved against the background of the strong trading base established over past years."