Australian retailer Woolworths has suggested it will be cautious with its expansion in New Zealand and also announced it will keep its 10% stake in The Warehouse Group.

Addressing shareholders at the company's annual general meeting, chairman James Strong said the acquisition in New Zealand's Warehouse allowed shoppers there to enjoy lower prices. He added that the company is now looking at further options within the general merchandise sector.

However, he said the firm does not expect "immediate further steps under current conditions."

Woolworths acquired its stake in New Zealand-based Warehouse, a discount variety retailer, in September.

The purchase was generally assumed to be a ploy to bar Warehouse founder Stephen Tindall from privatising the company, a plan that was reportedly axed soon after Woolworths' move.

However, Tindall insists he is still considering his next action, suggesting he has not yet come to a definitive decision.

"I'm making sure that I consider this situation in the best interests of shareholders, our customers, and of course our team members," Tindall told shareholders.

Warehouse this week warned its full-year sales growth could come to a halt because of "patchy" consumer demand.

"Over the year, across the categories we operate in, we expect retail sales to be flat overall," CEO Ian Morrice told shareholders at the firm's AGM.