2008/02/21
WHL - Woolworths Holdings - Unaudited Condensed Group Results For The [JSE Securities Exchange - SENS]
 
WOWOW                                                                           
WHL - Woolworths Holdings - Unaudited Condensed Group Results For The           
              Twenty Six Weeks Ended December 2007 And Dividend Declaration     
WOOLWORTHS HOLDINGS LIMITED                                                     
(Incorporated in the Republic of South Africa)                                  
Registration Number: 1929/001986/06)                                            
Share code: WHL & ISIN: ZAE000063863                                            
UNAUDITED CONDENSED GROUP RESULTS FOR THE TWENTY SIX WEEKS ENDED DECEMBER 2007  
overview                                                                        
financial                                                                       
-    turnover up 16.1%                                                          
-    profit before exceptional item and BEE transaction down 2.1%               
-    HEPS adjusted for BEE transaction down 5.9%                                
-    diluted HEPS down 12.3%                                                    
-    dividend per share maintained at 29.5 cents                                
trading                                                                         
-    clothing and general merchandise turnover up 7.3%                          
-    food turnover up 18.8%                                                     
-    financial services revenue up 39.0%                                        
consolidated income statement                                                   
                                               26 weeks ended                   
                                                  December                      
                                                      Restated                  
                                              2007        2006           %      
                                 Note           Rm          Rm      change      
Revenue                                    10 557.1     8 970.4       17.7%     
Turnover                                    9 756.5     8 406.5       16.1%     
Cost of sales                               6 357.6     5 522.8       15.1%     
Gross profit                                3 398.9     2 883.7       17.9%     
Other revenue                                 800.6       563.9       42.0%     
Expenses                                    3 213.7     2 490.0       29.1%     
Depreciation                                  176.6       155.5                 
Occupancy cost                                496.2       398.9                 
Employment cost                      9      1 234.9       954.0                 
Net bad debt and bad debt                                                       
provision                                     282.4       137.0                 
Other operating cost                        1 023.6       844.6                 
Operating profit                              985.8       957.6        2.9%     
Finance cost                                  242.2       171.9       40.9%     
Profit before exceptional item                743.6       785.7      (5.4%)     
Exceptional item                                  -        54.6                 
Profit before tax                             743.6       840.3     (11.5%)     
Tax                                  4        274.4       273.1        0.5%     
Profit after tax                              469.2       567.2     (17.3%)     
Attributable to:                                                                
Shareholders of the parent                    465.1       563.6     (17.5%)     
Minority shareholders                           4.1         3.6       13.9%     
Reconciliation of headline earnings  2                                          
Earnings attributable to                                                        
shareholders of the parent                    465.1       563.6     (17.5%)     
BEE preference dividend paid         9        (4.5)           -                 
Basic earnings                                460.6       563.6                 
Profit on disposal of property,                                                 
plant and equipment                           (0.2)      (56.4)                 
Foreign exchange profit realised                                                
on repayment of                                                                 
loan by subsidiary                               -       (1.1)                  
Total tax impact of adjustments                 0.1         8.5                 
Headline earnings                    5        460.5       514.6     (10.5%)     
Headline earnings per share (cents)  5         56.9        64.4     (11.7%)     
Earnings per share (cents)           6         56.9        70.5     (19.3%)     
Headline earnings per share                                                     
adjusted for the                                                                
impact of the BEE employee share                                                
ownership scheme (cents)                       60.6        64.4      (5.9%)     
Diluted headline earnings per                                                   
share (cents)                        5         55.6        63.4     (12.3%)     
Diluted earnings per share (cents)   6         55.6        69.3     (19.8%)     
Dividend per ordinary share (cents)            29.5        29.5                 
Dividend cover (based on headline                                               
earnings per share)                             1.9         2.2                 
Dividend per preference share (cents)           3.2           -                 
Number of shares in issue (millions)          812.1       800.4        1.5%     
Weighted average number of shares                                               
in issue (millions)                           810.0       799.2        1.4%     
Revenue                                                                         
Turnover                                    9 756.6     8 406.5       16.1%     
Woolworths                                  8 876.5     7 810.1       13.7%     
- Clothing and general merchandise          3 714.5     3 460.2        7.3%     
- Food                                      4 977.4     4 191.3       18.8%     
- Logistics services and other                184.6       158.6       16.4%     
Country Road                                  880.1       596.4       47.6%     
Interest                                      663.8       448.7       47.9%     
Other revenue                                 136.8       115.2       18.8%     
                                          10 557.2     8 970.4       17.7%      
Operating profit                                                                
Woolworths                                    937.0       926.4        1.1%     
Country Road                                   48.8        31.2       56.4%     
                                             985.8       957.6        2.9%      
                                                                  52 weeks      
                                                                     ended      
                                                                 June 2007      
                                                                        Rm      
Revenue                                                            18 641.9     
Turnover                                                           17 376.9     
Cost of sales                                                      11 399.9     
Gross profit                                                        5 977.0     
Other revenue                                                       1 265.0     
Expenses                                                            5 396.5     
Depreciation                                                          316.7     
Occupancy cost                                                        806.0     
Employment cost                                                     2 129.3     
Net bad debt and bad debt provision                                   351.5     
Other operating cost                                                1 793.0     
Operating profit                                                    1 845.5     
Finance cost                                                          378.7     
Profit before exceptional item                                      1 466.8     
Exceptional item                                                       54.6     
Profit before tax                                                   1 521.4     
Tax                                                                   434.7     
Profit after tax                                                    1 086.7     
Attributable to:                                                                
Shareholders of the parent                                          1 074.4     
Minority shareholders                                                  12.3     
Reconciliation of headline earnings                                             
Earnings attributable to shareholders of the parent                 1 074.4     
BEE preference dividend paid                                              -     
Basic earnings                                                      1 074.4     
Profit on disposal of property, plant and equipment                  (56.1)     
Foreign exchange profit realised on repayment of                                
loan by subsidiary                                                    (1.1)     
Total tax impact of adjustments                                         8.1     
Headline earnings                                                   1 025.3     
Headline earnings per share (cents)                                   127.8     
Earnings per share (cents)                                            133.9     
Headline earnings per share adjusted for the                                    
impact of the BEE employee share ownership scheme (cents)             127.8     
Diluted headline earnings per share (cents)                           125.5     
Diluted earnings per share (cents)                                    131.5     
Dividend per ordinary share (cents)                                    76.0     
Dividend cover (based on headline earnings per share)                   1.7     
Dividend per preference share (cents)                                   5.1     
Number of shares in issue (millions)                                  809.3     
Weighted average number of shares in issue (millions)                 802.4     
Revenue                                                                         
Turnover                                                           17 376.9     
Woolworths                                                         16 022.9     
- Clothing and general merchandise                                  6 985.0     
- Food                                                              8 718.0     
- Logistics services and other                                        319.9     
Country Road                                                        1 354.0     
Interest                                                            1 022.4     
Other revenue                                                         242.6     
                                                                  18 641.9      
Operating profit                                                                
Woolworths                                                          1 788.8     
Country Road                                                           56.7     
                                                                   1 845.5      
consolidated balance sheet                                                      
                                                                 As at          
                                                              December          
                                                                  Restated      
                                                         2007         2006      
                                            Note           Rm           Rm      
ASSETS                                                                          
Non-current assets                                     3 066.3      2 778.0     
Propery, plant and equipment                    7      2 017.3      1 801.5     
Investment property                                      105.9        109.0     
Loans to customers                                       286.3        271.6     
Prepaid employment costs                        5         59.8         39.5     
Participation in export partnerships                      69.9         71.2     
Goodwill                                                  23.0         23.0     
Other loans                                     5        149.1        176.6     
Deferred tax                                             355.0        285.6     
Current assets                                         8 373.2      7 443.0     
Inventories                                            1 473.2      1 175.1     
Woolworths card debtors                                3 534.4      3 269.6     
Credit card receivables                                  966.2        752.1     
Accounts receivable                                      712.3        911.9     
Loans to customers                                       771.8        698.4     
Tax                                                       48.4         28.8     
Cash                                                     866.9        607.1     
Total assets                                          11 439.5     10 221.0     
EQUITY AND LIABILITIES                                                          
Capital and reserves                                   3 417.9      2 940.2     
Interest of shareholders of the parent                 3 373.8      2 908.2     
Minority shareholders' interest                           44.1         32.0     
Non-current liabilities                                3 970.7      2 353.3     
Interest-bearing borrowings                            3 179.0      1 600.0     
Operating lease accrual                                  434.1        433.3     
Post-retirement medical aid liability                    240.6        214.3     
Deferred tax                                             117.0        105.7     
Current liabilities                                    4 050.9      4 927.5     
Accounts payable                                       2 395.6      2 015.5     
Provisions                                               169.6        138.7     
Tax                                                      248.1        334.6     
Interest-bearing borrowings                            1 237.6      2 438.7     
Total equity and liabilities                          11 439.5     10 221.0     
Net asset book value-per share (cents)                   415.4        363.3     
GROUP ANALYSIS                                                                  
Total assets                                          11 439.5     10 221.0     
Woolworths                                            10 833.7      9 808.0     
Country Road                                             605.8        413.0     
Inventories                                            1 473.2      1 175.1     
Woolworths                                             1 273.7      1 054.1     
Country Road                                             199.5        121.0     
Approved commitment for capital expenditure              513.6        340.2     
Woolworths                                               440.2        320.4     
Country Road                                              73.4         19.8     
                                                                     As at      
                                                                 June 2007      
                                                                        Rm      
ASSETS                                                                          
Non-current assets                                                  2 951.3     
Property, plant and equipment                                       1 867.1     
Investment property                                                   105.9     
Loans to customers                                                    289.8     
Prepaid employment costs                                               61.4     
Participation in export partnerships                                   70.4     
Goodwill                                                               23.0     
Other loans                                                           190.4     
Deferred tax                                                          343.3     
Current assets                                                      7 491.2     
Inventories                                                         1 202.6     
Woolworths card debtors                                             3 560.2     
Credit card receivables                                               904.8     
Accounts receivable                                                   605.0     
Loans to customers                                                    781.2     
Tax                                                                    13.1     
Cash                                                                  424.3     
Total assets                                                       10 442.5     
EQUITY AND LIABILITIES                                                          
Capital and reserves                                                3 289.4     
Interest of shareholders of the parent                              3 246.9     
Minority shareholders' interest                                        42.5     
Non-current liabilities                                             2 906.6     
Interest-bearing borrowings                                         2 179.0     
Operating lease accrual                                               426.7     
Post-retirement medical aid liability                                 227.2     
Deferred tax                                                           73.7     
Current liabilities                                                 4 246.5     
Accounts payable                                                    2 092.4     
Provisions                                                            156.3     
Tax                                                                   214.9     
Interest-bearing borrowings                                         1 782.9     
Total equity and liabilities                                       10 442.5     
Net asset book value-per share (cents)                                401.2     
GROUP ANALYSIS                                                                  
Total assets                                                       10 442.5     
Woolworths                                                          9 881.1     
Country Road                                                          561.4     
Inventories                                                         1 202.6     
Woolworths                                                          1 023.1     
Country Road                                                          179.5     
Approved commitment for capital expenditure                           547.0     
Woolworths                                                            396.0     
Country Road                                                          151.0     
consolidated statement of changes in equity                                     
                                                                  52 weeks      
                                                                     ended      
                                                                 June 2007      
                                                                        Rm      
Shareholders' interest at the beginning of the period               2 634.2     
Movements for the period:                                                       
Issue of shares                                                       111.8     
Issue of BEE shares                                                       -     
Share repurchase                                                     (26.3)     
Recognised gains and losses                                           569.7     
Distributable reserves                                                526.1     
Profit for the period                                               1 086.7     
Dividends to shareholders                                           (550.4)     
Net fair value adjustments on financial instruments                  (31.0)     
Share-based payments                                                   27.0     
BEE transaction costs                                                 (6.2)     
Non-distributable reserves                                                      
Exchange differences on translation of foreign subsidiaries            43.6     
Shareholders' interest at the end of the period                     3 289.4     
                                           Shareholders'          Minority      
                                         interest before     shareholders'      
                                              minorities          interest      
                                                      Rm                Rm      
Shareholders' interest at the                                                   
beginning of the period                           3 246.9              42.5     
Movements for the period:                                                       
Issue of shares                                      12.7                 -     
Issue of BEE shares                                   0.1                 -     
Share repurchase                                        -                 -     
Recognised gains and losses                         114.1               1.6     
Distributable reserves                              117.3               2.0     
Profit for the period                               465.1               4.1     
Dividends to shareholders                         (381.1)             (3.7)     
Net fair value adjustments on                                                   
financial instruments                                 5.1               1.6     
Share-based payments                                 31.2                 -     
BEE transaction costs                               (3.0)                 -     
Non-distributable reserves                                                      
Exchange differences on translation                                             
of foreign subsidiaries                              (3.2)             (0.4)    
Shareholders' interest at the end                                               
of the period                                      3 373.8              44.1    
                                                         26 weeks ended         
                                                             December           
                                                         Total       Total      
                                                          2007        2006      
                                                            Rm          Rm      
Shareholders' interest at the                                                   
beginning of the period                                 3 289.4     2 634.2     
Movements for the period:                                                       
Issue of shares                                            12.7        40.8     
Issue of BEE shares                                         0.1           -     
Share repurchase                                              -           -     
Recognised gains and losses                               115.7       265.2     
Distributable reserves                                    119.3       257.2     
Profit for the period                                     469.2       567.2     
Dividends to shareholders                               (384.8)     (312.1)     
Net fair value adjustments on financial instruments         6.7      (10.1)     
Share-based payments                                       31.2        12.2     
BEE transaction costs                                     (3.0)           -     
Non-distributable reserves                                                      
Exchange differences on translation                                             
of foreign subsidiaries                                   (3.6)         8.0     
Shareholders' interest at the end of the period         3 417.9     2 940.2     
consolidated cash flow statement                                                
                                                           26 weeks ended       
                                                              December          
                                                        2007          2006      
                                                          Rm            Rm      
Cash flow from operating activities                                             
Cash inflow from trading                                658.4         760.8     
Working capital movements                              (99.6)        (44.3)     
Cash applied to financial services assets              (88.8)       (576.5)     
Cash generated by operating activities                  470.0         140.0     
Interest received                                       661.7         448.1     
Finance costs paid                                    (237.7)       (160.9)     
Tax paid                                              (244.9)       (233.2)     
Cash generated by operations                            649.1         194.0     
Dividends to shareholders                             (384.8)       (312.1)     
Net cash inflow/(outflow) from operating activities     264.3       (118.1)     
Cash outflow from investing activities                (282.7)       (332.6)     
Cash flow from financing activities                                             
Shares issued                                            12.9          40.6     
Repurchase of shares                                        -             -     
Notes issued                                                -             -     
Notes redeemed                                              -             -     
BEE transaction costs                                   (3.0)             -     
Long-term borrowings raised                           1 500.0             -     
Long-term borrowings repaid                           (500.0)             -     
Net cash inflow from financing activities             1 009.9          40.6     
Increase/(decrease) in cash and cash equivalents        991.5       (410.1)     
Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the                               
period                                                (422.6)       (623.4)     
Effect of foreign exchange rate changes                 (3.6)           1.0     
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period      565.3     (1 032.5)     
GROUP ANALYSIS                                                                  
Cash inflow from trading                                658.4         760.8     
Woolworths                                              581.8         710.3     
Country Road                                             76.6          50.5     
Gross capital expenditure                               362.0         409.3     
Woolworths                                              295.8         383.1     
Country Road                                             66.2          26.2     
                                                            52 weeks ended      
                                                                 June 2007      
                                                                        Rm      
Cash flow from operating activities                                             
Cash inflow from trading                                            1 373.7     
Working capital movements                                             183.6     
Cash applied to financial services assets                         (1 182.4)     
Cash generated by operating activities                                374.9     
Interest received                                                   1 018.3     
Finance costs paid                                                  (366.6)     
Tax paid                                                            (565.0)     
Cash generated by operations                                          461.6     
Dividends to shareholders                                           (550.4)     
Net cash inflow/(outflow) from operating activities                  (88.8)     
Cash outflow from investing activities                              (527.2)     
Cash flow from financing activities                                             
Shares issued                                                         111.8     
Repurchase of shares                                                 (26.3)     
Notes issued                                                        1 015.0     
Notes redeemed                                                      (300.0)     
BEE transaction costs                                                 (6.2)     
Long-term borrowings raised                                               -     
Long-term borrowings repaid                                               -     
Net cash inflow from financing activities                             794.3     
Increase/(decrease) in cash and cash equivalents                      178.3     
Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the period            (623.4)     
Effect of foreign exchange rate changes                                22.5     
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period                  (422.6)     
GROUP ANALYSIS                                                                  
Cash inflow from trading                                            1 373.7     
Woolworths                                                          1 275.5     
Country Road                                                           98.2     
Gross capital expenditure                                             649.1     
Woolworths                                                            591.1     
Country Road                                                           58.0     
segmental analysis                                                              
                                               26 weeks ended                   
                                                  December                      
                                              2007        2006           %      
                                                Rm          Rm      change      
Revenue                                                                         
Retail                                                                          
Woolworths                                  8 926.3     7 845.8       13.8%     
Country Road                                  884.4       601.0       47.2%     
Financial services                            792.9       570.5       39.0%     
Intra-group                                  (46.5)      (46.9)                 
Total group                                10 557.1     8 970.4       17.7%     
Profit before tax                                                               
Retail                                                                          
Woolworths                                    648.6       735.5     (11.8%)     
Country Road                                   48.1        31.2       54.2%     
Financial services                             46.9        73.6     (36.3%)     
Total group                                   743.6       840.3     (11.5%)     
Return on equity                                  %           %                 
Retail                                                                          
Woolworths                                    59.5%       60.9%                 
Country Road*                                 18.5%       25.1%                 
Financial services**                           6.0%       11.1%                 
Total group                                   27.8%       37.5%                 
                                                                  52 weeks      
                                                                     ended      
                                                                 June 2007      
                                                                        Rm      
Revenue                                                                         
Retail                                                                          
Woolworths                                                         16 099.5     
Country Road                                                        1 361.8     
Financial services                                                  1 274.4     
Intra-group                                                          (93.8)     
Total group                                                        18 641.9     
Profit before tax                                                               
Retail                                                                          
Woolworths                                                          1 252.8     
Country Road                                                           54.9     
Financial services                                                    159.1     
Total group                                                         1 466.8     
Return on equity                                                                
Retail                                                                          
Woolworths                                                            65.4%     
Country Road*                                                         34.6%     
Financial services**                                                  11.9%     
Total group                                                           35.1%     
* Return on equity decreased due to tax on profits, previously shielded by tax  
losses.                                                                         
** Return on equity for Woolworths Financial Services is calculated using the   
weighted average segmental equity for the period.                               
notes                                                                           
1 Basis of preparation                                                          
The interim financial statements comply with IAS 34 Interim Financial           
Reporting. These condensed consolidated financial statements do not contain     
all the information and disclosures required in the annual financial statements 
and should be read in conjunction with the group consolidated annual financial  
statements as at June 2007.                                                     
2 Significant accounting policies                                               
The accounting policies applied are consistent with those followed in the       
preparation of the consolidated annual financial statements for the 52 weeks    
ended June 2007, except for the adoption of IFRS 7 Financial Instruments:       
Disclosure that became effective during the current period and had no impact on 
the reported results.                                                           
Headline earnings per share and diluted headline earnings per share have been   
calculated in terms of Circular 8/2007: Headline Earnings for both the current  
and prior period.                                                               
3 Seasonality of turnover                                                       
No material variations in the turnover of the group are expected to occur       
between the first and second half of the financial year.                        
4 Tax                                                                           
The tax rate of 36.9% (2006: 32.5%) results from the estimated average annual   
effective income tax rate of 30.1% plus Secondary Tax on Companies (STC) on     
the final dividend for the 52 weeks ended June 2007, paid in September 2007.    
The estimated annual effective rate is higher than the corporate tax rate of    
29% mainly due to the impact of the non-deductible IFRS 2 charge arising from   
the BEE employee share ownership scheme and the group's share incentive         
scheme.                                                                         
5 Restatement of comparative figures                                            
Headline earnings per share and diluted headline earnings per share for the     
twenty six weeks to December 2006 were restated to reflect a foreign exchange   
profit of R1.1m on the repayment of a loan by a subsidiary.                     
Net bad debt and the bad debt provision are disclosed separately in the income  
statement for the current and comparative period. Previously this was included  
in other operating costs.                                                       
Comparative balance sheet figures have been restated as a result of the         
restatement of share purchase scheme participants' loans and investments to     
reflect their amortised cost.                                                   
6 Earnings per share                                                            
The difference between earnings per share and diluted earnings per share is the 
impact of outstanding options under the group share incentive scheme and        
preference shares issued in terms of the BEE employee share ownership scheme.   
7 Property, plant and equipment                                                 
During the twenty six weeks ended December 2007, the group acquired assets with 
a cost of R362.0m (2006: R409.3m).                                              
Assets with a net book value of R35.1m (2006: R19.9m) were disposed of by the   
group during the same period, resulting in a profit of R0.1m (2006: R1.8m).     
8 Issue of shares                                                               
During the twenty six weeks ended December 2007, 2 818 254 (2006: 3 139 956)    
ordinary shares were issued in terms of the group's share incentive scheme.     
9 The Woolworths BEE employee share ownership scheme                            
During the twenty six weeks ended December 2007, 88 267 306 convertible,        
redeemable, non-cumulative participating preference shares were issued to       
employees of the group in terms of the BEE employee share ownership scheme.     
This resulted in an additional share-based payment charge of R25.5m being       
recognised in employment costs.                                                 
A dividend of 5.1c (11% of the final ordinary dividend of 46.5c declared in     
August 2007) was declared during the twenty six weeks ended December 2007. No   
adjustment for the preference dividend in the calculation of basic and headline 
earnings was required at June 2007 as the preference shares were only issued    
after the 2007 year end.                                                        
Implementation of the scheme resulted in net dilution of 0.8% for the twenty    
six weeks ended December 2007.                                                  
10 Contingent liabilities                                                       
The holding company provides sureties for the banking facilities and lease      
obligations of certain subsidiaries. In the opinion of the directors, the       
possibility of loss arising therefrom is remote.                                
11 Borrowing facilities                                                         
Unutilised banking facilities amount to R3 900.0m (2006: R1 168.1m). In terms   
of the articles of association, there is no limit on the group's authority to   
raise interest-bearing debt.                                                    
12 Events subsequent to balance sheet date                                      
Notes issued under the Account On Us (Proprietary) Limited asset-backed notes   
programme totalling R436.0m mature and will be redeemed on 25 February 2008.    
13 Related party transactions                                                   
During the twenty six weeks to December 2007, group companies entered into      
various transactions. These transactions were entered into in the ordinary      
course of business and under terms that are no less favourable than those       
arranged with independent third parties.                                        
All such intra-group related party transactions and outstanding balances are    
eliminated in preparation of the consolidated financial statements of the       
group.                                                                          
14 Unaudited results                                                            
These results have not been reviewed or audited.                                
15 Approval of interim financial statements                                     
The interim financial statements were approved by the board of directors on     
20 February 2008.                                                               
commentary                                                                      
Group results                                                                   
Group turnover grew by 16.1% to R9.8bn for the twenty six weeks ended December  
2007, with lower growth in the second quarter reflecting the slowdown in South  
African consumer spending.                                                      
Gross margin increased from 34.3% to 34.8%.                                     
Operating profit (excluding the non-comparable BEE charge) grew by 5.6% to      
R1.0bn, impacted by a 28.0% increase in expenses primarily due to planned       
expenses in South African retail, higher bad debt and non-comparable concession 
costs in Country Road.                                                          
Interest paid increased by 40.9% due to higher borrowings to fund the growth in 
the financial services books and increasing interest rates.                     
This resulted in profit before tax and exceptional items, excluding the         
non-comparable BEE expense of R25.5m, decreasing by 2.1% to R769m.              
The effective tax rate increased due to a higher relative STC charge and tax on 
Country Road's profits, previously shielded by tax losses.                      
Diluted headline earnings per share decreased by 12.3% from 63.4 cents per      
share to 55.6 cents per share.                                                  
The interim dividend has been maintained at 29.5 cents per share.               
operating review                                                                
Woolworths                                                                      
Trading environment                                                             
Continued increases in interest rates, the implementation of the National       
Credit Act and rising inflation, especially in food and fuel, have led to an    
ongoing slowdown in South African consumer spending. The growth in retail       
sales declined steeply in the second quarter of the year.                       
Retail                                                                          
Clothing and general merchandise grew sales by 7.3% in total and 4.7% in        
comparable stores, with an average inflation rate of approximately 9.6% over    
the period. Good performances in childrenswear, footwear and accessories, the   
womenswear Re and WCollection ranges, and branded beauty were offset by         
disappointing sales in core womenswear ranges and lingerie.                     
Food continued to perform well, although below expectations. Sales grew by      
18.8% in total and by 9.7% in comparable stores. Inflation averaged             
approximately 12.1% over the period. Food continued with innovation in new      
and upgraded products, enhanced value through competitive pricing of key        
value items and promotions, and improved availability, especially over the      
Christmas period.                                                               
The financial year has 53 trading weeks and as such the key trading day of      
24 December is not included in the sales figures above.                         
Trading space                                                                   
Trading space was expanded in clothing and general merchandise by 4.8% (2006:   
4.2%) and by 13.1% (2006: 13.1%) in food, including the first large-format      
food market at Farrarmere in Gauteng.                                           
Financial services                                                              
Revenue increased by 39.0% as a result of growth in the combined books of 20.5% 
and increases in interest rates. Book growth has slowed significantly from the  
second quarter. The interest yield increased to 22.9% (2006: 18.9%).            
The tougher collections environment resulted in net bad debt, including         
collection costs, increasing to 7.8% (2006: 4.1%) of the gross book.            
Country Road                                                                    
Country Road had a strong sales performance, growing turnover by 35.0% in       
Australian dollar terms. Retail sales, excluding concession sales, grew by      
21.4% in Australian dollars and by 16.5% in comparable stores compared to the   
prior period. The focus on providing better value and improved fashionability   
continues to be well received by customers.                                     
Prospects                                                                       
Higher interest rates and the shift in the credit environment has and is        
impacting our business. The group's focus will remain on price competitiveness, 
product innovation, quality and tight cost control. We expect the difficult     
current trading conditions to prevail throughout 2008 and consequently the      
second half profits will remain under pressure.                                 
Change to the board of directors                                                
On 20 February 2008 Mair Barnes resigned from the board as a non-executive      
director. The board would like to thank Mair for her contribution to the group  
and wishes her success in her future endeavours.                                
DA Hawton         SN Susman                                                     
Chairman          Chief executive officer          Cape Town, 20 February 2008  
Dividend Payment                                                                
Notice is hereby given that the directors have declared an interim cash         
dividend of 29.5 cents per ordinary share for the twenty six weeks ended        
December 2007.                                                                  
The salient dates for the dividend will be as follows:                          
Last day to trade to receive dividend                     Friday, 7 March 2008  
Shares commence trading "ex" dividend                    Monday, 10 March 2008  
Record date                                              Friday, 14 March 2008  
Payment date                                             Monday, 17 March 2008  
Share certificates may not be dematerialised or rematerialised between          
Monday, 10 March 2008 and Friday, 14 March 2008, both days inclusive.           
In accordance with the company's articles of association, dividends amounting   
to less than R5.00 due to any one holder of the company's shares held in        
certificated form will not be paid, unless otherwise requested in writing,      
but will be aggregated with other such amounts and be donated to a charity      
nominated by the directors.                                                     
An interim cash dividend of 3.2 cents per preference share for the twenty six   
weeks ended December 2007 will be paid to the beneficiaries of the BEE employee 
share ownership scheme on 17 March 2008.                                        
CL Lowe                                                                         
Group secretary                                    Cape Town, 20 February 2008  
directorate and statutory information                                           
Non-executive directors: Buddy Hawton (Chairman), Peter Bacon (British),        
Mair Barnes (British), Nigel Colne (British), Judy Dlamini, Brian Frost,        
Mike Leeming, Chris Nissen, Sindi Zilwa                                         
Executive directors: Simon Susman (CEO), Richard Inskip,                        
Andrew Jennings (British), Zyda Rylands, Norman Thomson                         
Group secretary: Cherrie Lowe   Share code: WHL   ISIN: ZAE000063863            
Registered address (postal and physical):                                       
PO Box 680, Cape Town 8000 ? Woolworths House, 93 Longmarket Street,            
Cape Town 8001                                                                  
Registration number: 1929/001986/06   Auditors: Ernst & Young Inc and           
SAB & T Inc                                                                     
Bankers: The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited                              
Sponsor: Rand Merchant Bank (A division of FirstRand Bank Limited)              
Transfer secretaries: Computershare Investor Services 2004 (Pty) Limited,       
70 Marshall Street, Johannesburg 2001                                           
visit our investor relations site: www.woolworthsholdings.co.za                 
Date: 21/02/2008 07:30:01 Produced by the JSE SENS Department.                  
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information disseminated through SENS.                                          
Source: JSE Securities Exchange - SENS
 
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