2011/01/20
WHL - Woolworths Holdings Limited - Trading update, trading statement and [JSE Securities Exchange - SENS]
 
WOWOW                                                                           
WHL - Woolworths Holdings Limited - Trading update, trading statement and       
appointment of director                                                         
Woolworths Holdings Limited                                                     
(Incorporated in the Republic of South Africa)                                  
Registration number: 1929/001986/06                                             
Share code: WHL     ISIN: ZAE000063863                                          
("Woolworths Holdings", "the company" or "the group")                           
TRADING UPDATE, TRADING STATEMENT AND APPOINTMENT OF DIRECTOR                   
TRADING UPDATE FOR THE 26 WEEKS ENDED 26 DECEMBER 2010                          
Woolworths Holdings group sales increased by 9.8% for the 26 weeks to 26        
December 2010 ("the period") compared to the same period last year. Comparable  
store sales growth for the period was 5.9%.                                     
               Sales growth    Comparable        Price        Growth in space   
               26 weeks to 26 stores sales      movement                        
              December        growth                                            
Woolworths      10.5%           7.7%                                            
- Clothing and  8.1%            5.7%              1.4%         2.8%             
general                                                                         
merchandise                                                                     
- Food          11.8%           9.1%              3.0%         3.7%             
Country Road    3.1%            -9.9%                          12.1%            
AU$                                                                             
Group           9.8%            5.9%                                            
Clothing sales in SA grew11.5% on the prior year (9.2% in comparable stores).   
General Merchandise sales were impacted by the decision to materially downsize  
our previously unprofitable Connect business.                                   
The Woolworths Financial Services closing debtors' book remained at the same    
level as last year. The impairment charge as a percentage of average gross      
receivables was 1.6% (2009: 6.2%).                                              
TRADING STATEMENT                                                               
We expect that both earnings per share ("EPS") and headline earnings per share  
("HEPS") for the period will be between 17% and 20% higher than the             
corresponding period in the 2010 financial year. Our effective tax rate has     
increased as we resume paying STC on distributions.                             
Adjusted headline earnings per share, will be between 24% and 27% higher than   
the corresponding period, due to the exclusion of the abnormal foreign exchange 
gain in the previous year.                                                      
Shareholders are advised that the financial information contained in this       
announcement has not been reviewed and reported on by the group's external      
auditors and it does not constitute an earnings forecast.                       
The group`s results for the period are due to be released on SENS on or about 17
February 2011.                                                                  
APPOINTMENT OF DIRECTOR                                                         
The board of Woolworths Holdings is pleased to announce that Sir Stuart Rose has
been appointed as a director of the company, in a non-executive capacity, with  
effect from 19 January 2011.                                                    
Sir Stuart brings strong international retail experience to the board. He has   
held a number of senior leadership roles in retail in the United Kingdom. Sir   
Stuart relinquished the position as Chief Executive Officer of Marks and Spencer
in July 2010 and retired as its Chairman on 4 January 2011.                     
Contact:                                                                        
Ian Moir (Group chief executive officer) on 021 407 2809                        
Norman Thomson (Group finance director) on 021 407 3337                         
Cherrie Lowe (Group secretary) on 021 407 3160                                  
Cape Town                                                                       
20 January 2011                                                                 
Sponsor                                                                         
RAND MERCHANT BANK (A division of FirstRand Bank Limited)                       
Date: 20/01/2011 08:00:04 Produced by the JSE SENS Department.                  
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Source: JSE Securities Exchange - SENS
 
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