WHL - Woolworths Holdings - Trading statement for the six months to December
Woolworths Holdings Limited
(Incorporated in the Republic of South Africa)
Registration number: 1929/001986/06
Share code: WHL & ISIN: ZAE000063863
("Woolworths Holdings" or "the Company")
Trading statement for the six months to December 2006
Woolworths Holdings increased sales by 20.2% for the six months to December
2006, compared to the same period last year. Comparable store sales growth was
Woolworths, clothing and home grew sales by 14.4% in total and 9.8% in
comparable stores with an average inflation rate of approximately 1.6% over the
period. Food sales grew by 25.9% in total and by 15.1% in comparable stores
with an average inflation rate of approximately 7.4% over the period.
Expansion in trading space resulted in an increase of 4.2% in clothing and home
and 13.1% in food as at 31 December 2006, compared to the prior year.
Country Road grew total sales by 3.5% in Australian dollar terms. Retail sales,
excluding seconds outlets, grew by 16% in Australian dollars and by 11.4% in
comparable stores compared to the prior year.
Our in-store card, credit card and personal loan books grew by 25.9%. The net
bad debt experience on the combined books remained within an acceptable range.
The Company is currently finalising its results for the six months ended
December 2006 which should be released by mid-February 2007. In this regard,
shareholders are advised that headline earnings per share is likely to be
between 20% and 25% higher than the prior year and earnings per share is likely
to be between 30% and 35% higher than the prior year. Earnings per share will be
higher than headline earnings per share, mainly due to a R46.7 million profit
made on the disposal of land in Midrand, Gauteng.
The financial information on which this trading statement is based has not been
reviewed and reported on by the Company's auditors and is released in accordance
with the JSE Limited Listings Requirements.
Contact: Simon Susman (Chief executive officer) on 021 407 2700
Norman Thomson (Finance director) on 021 407 3337
Cherrie Lowe (Group secretary) on 021 407 3160
17 January 2007
RAND MERCHANT BANK (a division of FirstRand Bank Limited)
Date: 17/01/2007 16:27:01 Produced by the JSE SENS Department.