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
Woolworths 10.5% 7.7%
- Clothing and 8.1% 5.7% 1.4% 2.8%
- Food 11.8% 9.1% 3.0% 3.7%
Country Road 3.1% -9.9% 12.1%
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%).
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
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.
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
20 January 2011
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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