WHL - Woolworths Holdings - Trading Update For The 26 Weeks To December 2009 And [JSE Securities Exchange - SENS]
WHL - Woolworths Holdings - Trading Update For The 26 Weeks To December 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                                                                  
Woolworths Holdings group sales increased by 9.3% for the 26 weeks to December  
2009 ("the period") compared to the same period in the previous year. Comparable
store sales growth for the period was 4.4%.                                     
                             Sales growth   Comparable       Price   Growth in  
                             26 weeks to stores sales    movement       space   
                                December       growth                           
SA Retail                            9.1%         4.9%                          
Woolworths                           9.7%         6.2%       11.8%        7.1%  
- Clothing and general                                                          
Woolworths                           8.9%         4.7%        6.3%        6.1%  
- Food                                                                          
Country Road AU$                    12.6%         4.7%                   11.3%  
Group                                9.3%         4.4%                          
The Woolworths Financial Services ("WFS") debtors books have grown 1.2% year on 
year at the end of December 2009. The impairment rate for the period is 6.2%    
(2008: 7.0%).                                                                   
TRADING STATEMENT                                                               
As outlined in the trading statement released on SENS on 19 November 2009, the  
group anticipated that earnings per share ("EPS") for the period would be more  
than 20% lower than the corresponding reporting period, primarily due to the    
profit of R380m earned on the disposal of a 50% plus one share interest of WFS  
to ABSA Group Limited in that period.                                           
We now confirm that EPS for the period will be between 15% and 25% lower than   
last year.                                                                      
We also estimate that headline earnings per share ("HEPS") for the period will  
be between 35% and 45% higher than the corresponding reporting period of the    
previous year. HEPS has benefited from a reduced cost of sales due to the impact
of the FEC's marked to market at June 2009. In addition, the prior year was     
negatively impacted by a R75m STC charge on the special dividend paid in        
December 2008.                                                                  
Shareholders are advised that the trading and financial information contained in
this announcement has not been reviewed or reported on by the external auditors.
The group's results for the period are scheduled to be released on SENS on18    
February 2010.                                                                  
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                                  
Cape Town                                                                       
20 January 2010                                                                 
RAND MERCHANT BANK (A division of FirstRand Bank Limited)                       
Date: 20/01/2010 12:12:02 Produced by the JSE SENS Department.                  
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