WHL - Woolworths Holdings Limited - Trading update for the 52 weeks ended 27 [JSE Securities Exchange - SENS]
WHL - Woolworths Holdings Limited - Trading update for the 52 weeks ended 27    
June 2010 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 group")                                          
TRADING UPDATE                                                                  
Woolworths Holdings group sales increased by 10.5% for the 52 weeks to 27 June  
2010 ("the period") compared to the same period last year. Comparable store     
sales growth for the period was 5.7%.                                           
                                         Sales   Comparable     Price Growth in 
                                        growth stores sales  movement    space  
                                      52 weeks       growth                     
                                    to 27 June                                  
SA Retail                                 10.4%         6.1%                    
Woolworths                                11.2%         6.7%      8.9%     4.8% 
- Clothing and general merchandise                                              
Woolworths                                 9.9%         5.6%      5.2%     3.7% 
- Food                                                                          
Country Road AU$                           8.5%         1.5%               7.7% 
Group                                     10.5%         5.7%                    
Woolworths Financial Services ("WFS") closing debtors' books at June 2010 were  
1.3% down against June 2009 (2009: up 6.4%). Bad debts were well controlled,    
with an impairment charge as a percentage of average gross receivables of 5.1%  
(2009: 7.4%).                                                                   
TRADING STATEMENT                                                               
As outlined in the trading statement released on 19 May 2010, the group         
anticipated that headline earnings per share ("HEPS") for the period would be   
more than 20% higher than the corresponding reporting period of the previous    
year ("last year").                                                             
We now estimate that HEPS will be between 45% and 55% higher than last year. The
impact of the unrealised foreign exchange loss of R57m (after tax) recognised in
the income statement for the year ended 30 June 2009, has unwound in full in the
period. In addition, the prior year was negatively impacted by a R75m STC charge
on the special dividend paid in December 2008.                                  
We estimate that earnings per share ("EPS") for the period will be at a similar 
level to last year despite the profit of R380m earned on the disposal of a      
portion of Woolworths Financial Services business included in the results of    
last year.                                                                      
The significant difference between HEPS and EPS relates primarily to the R380m  
profit referred to above.                                                       
Earnings during the year were positively impacted by:-                          
i.   the growth in Clothing and General Merchandise margins which met our 3 year
    target, a year earlier;  and                                                
ii.  a lower effective tax rate which will not be repeated next year.           
Country Road Limited (CTY) has released a trading update on the Australian stock
exchange estimating that the full year profit for the period will be between 15%
and 20% down on last year.                                                      
Shareholders are advised that the financial information contained in this       
announcement has not been reviewed or reported on by the group's external       
The group's results for the full year ending 27 June 2010 are due to be released
on SENS on or about 26 August 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                                                                       
21 July 2010                                                                    
RAND MERCHANT BANK (A division of FirstRand Bank Limited)                       
Date: 21/07/2010 09:14:26 Produced by the JSE SENS Department.                  
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