WHL - Woolworths Holdings Limited - Trading update and trading statement
WOOLWORTHS HOLDINGS LIMITED
(Incorporated in the Republic of South Africa)
(Registration number 1929/001986/06)
Share code: WHL ISIN: ZAE000063863
("Woolworths" or "the Group")
TRADING UPDATE AND TRADING STATEMENT
Woolworths Holdings group sales increased by 8.1% for the 20 weeks ended 15
November 2009, with a growth of 3.8% in comparable stores.
The improvement in sales experienced in the fourth quarter of our last financial
year, has continued into the new financial year.
Sales growth Comparable Price Growth in
stores movement space
Woolworths SA Retail: 8.3% 4.5%
- Clothing and 7.9% 5.0% 9.2% 4.8%
- Food 8.9% 4.4% 6.7% 6.8%
Country Road A$ 12.7% 3.6% 12.5%
Country Road (Rand) 6.1% -2.5%
Group 8.1% 3.8%
The increase in the price movement of clothing and general merchandise has been
driven by the higher exchange rates incurred at the time the current summer
season was procured.
Price movement in our foods business has shown a steady decline to a current
rate of 6.7%.
The Woolworths Financial Services book has grown 3.9% year on year, at the end
of October 2009. The impairment rate for the four months ending October is 8.2%.
We are expecting impairments to continue deteriorating over the next six months
before improving considerably.
Economic conditions remain tough and are expected to remain as such for the
remaining of the 2010 financial year. There does appear to be some improvement
in confidence in the higher income customer. We will continue to focus on
managing costs and controlling stock during the period.
The directors of Woolworths refer to the trading statement published on 26
A comparison of the results for the six months ending December 2009 to the
corresponding reporting period of last year will be affected by the profit of
R380m earned on the disposal of a 50% plus one share of Woolworths financial
services to ABSA Group Limited on 1 October 2008. Consequently, earnings per
share ("EPS") will be more than 20% lower than the corresponding reporting
period of the previous year.
Due to the significance of the peak retail trading season, it is not possible to
quantify the impact on EPS within the 20% range required by the JSE Limited
("JSE") Listings Requirements with a reasonable degree of certainty or to
provide guidance on headline earnings per share ("HEPS"). A further trading
statement will be issued later in the reporting period and provide earnings
forecast ranges for EPS and HEPS as required by the JSE Listings Requirements.
Shareholders are advised that the financial information contained in this
announcement has neither been reviewed or reported on by the external auditors,
and that the Group's interim results for the six months ending 31 December 2009
are scheduled to be announced on SENS on or about 18 February 2010.
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
19 November 2009
RAND MERCHANT BANK (A division of FirstRand Bank Limited)
Date: 19/11/2009 15:55:01 Produced by the JSE SENS Department.
The SENS service is an information dissemination service administered by the
JSE Limited ('JSE'). The JSE does not, whether expressly, tacitly or
implicitly, represent, warrant or in any way guarantee the truth, accuracy or
completeness of the information published on SENS. The JSE, their officers,
employees and agents accept no liability for (or in respect of) any direct,
indirect, incidental or consequential loss or damage of any kind or nature,
howsoever arising, from the use of SENS or the use of, or reliance on,
information disseminated through SENS.