WHL - Woolworths Holdings - Trading Update For The 52 Weeks Ended 30 June 2009
And Trading Statement
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 UPDATE FOR THE 52 WEEKS ENDED 30 JUNE 2009 AND TRADING STATEMENT
The Group's total sales for the 52 week period ended June 2009 (compared with
the 52 week period of last year) showed a growth of 7.2%, with a comparable
sales growth of 0.4%. Comparing this year's 52 week period to last year's
reported period of 53 weeks, group total sales grew by 5.5%.
Sales in the second half are in line with that experienced in the first half.
The fourth quarter growth has shown signs of recovery. Middle and upper
income consumers have seen some relief with the reduction in interest rates;
whilst fuel and food prices have remained relatively high. Woolworths
customers are reacting positively to our competitive opening price point value
Country Road has shown good resilience in a tough Australian market and has
delivered a strong sales growth.
Sales performance by the retail operations of the group during the period was
Sales growth for Comparable stores growth at
the period sales growth Price period end
52 vs 52 52 vs 53 52 vs 52 52 vs 53
Woolworths retail 5.7% 3.9% -0.6% -2.4%
Clothing and 0.4% -1.2% -2.8% -4.7% 2.5% 3.5%
Food 9.3% 7.4% 1.0% -0.7% 8.2% 11.0%
Country Road 18.4% n/a 10.4% n/a 8.5%
Total Group 7.2% 5.5% 0.4% -1.3%
* Country Road did not have a 53 week in last year's reported period.
Customers response to our value lines in Clothing and Foods has resulted in
price movements of 2.5% and 8.2% respectively for the period.
Woolworths Financial Services closing debtors' books at June 2009 were 6.4% up
against June 2008. Bad debts were well controlled, with an impairment charge
as a % of average gross receivables of 7.4% (June 2008: 9.5%).
EXPECTED FINANCIAL RESULTS
As outlined in the trading statement released on 20 May 2009, the group
anticipated that the earnings per share ("EPS") for the year ended 30 June
2009 ("this financial year") would show an improvement of more than 20% over
Comparing this financial year to the corresponding 52 week period in the prior
we now estimate that EPS will be between 40% and 50% higher than the results
of the prior year. This is primarily due to the profit made on the disposal
of a 50% plus one share of Woolworths Financial Services to ABSA Group Limited
on 1 October 2008 of R380 million; and
growth in headline earnings per share for the period is unlikely to exceed 5%
of the results of the prior year. This takes into account STC of R75million
(2008: R20million) on both the special dividend and share repurchases and an
unrealised foreign exchange loss (after tax) of R57 million (2008: R2 million
gain) on the revaluation of foreign exchange contracts open at 30 June 2009.
Comparing this financial year to the prior year's 53 week reported period, EPS
will be between 30% and 40% higher than the prior period.
Shareholders are advised that the above information has not been reviewed or
reported on by the group's external auditors.
The group's results for the year ended 30 June 2009 are scheduled to be
released on SENS on 27 August 2009.
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
23 July 2009
Merchant bank and sponsor
RAND MERCHANT BANK (A division of FirstRand Bank Limited)
Date: 23/07/2009 16:48:01 Produced by the JSE SENS Department.
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