WHL - Woolworths Holdings Limited - Trading update and trading statement [JSE Securities Exchange - SENS]
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                                                             
("the Group")                                                                   
TRADING UPDATE AND TRADING STATEMENT                                            
TRADING UPDATE:  26 WEEKS TO 25 DECEMBER 2011                                   
Group sales for the first 26 weeks of the 2012 financial year increased         
11.4% over the comparable period in 2011.  Sales in comparable stores grew      
by 7.7%.                                                                        
Clothing sales in South Africa grew by 11.2% with a price movement of 7%.       
Sales in comparable stores grew by 5.9%, up from 4.9% at 20 weeks.              
Food sales grew by 11.7% with price movement of 4.8%.  Sales in comparable      
stores grew by 8.4%, up from 7.2% at 20 weeks.                                  
General merchandise grew by 6.2% and by 4.2% in comparable stores, up from      
2.5% at 20 weeks.                                                               
Woolworths retail space, including Africa, grew by 2.3% year-on-year, net of    
closures and excluding franchise conversions.  Franchise store conversions      
are on track with 50 stores now converted.  A further 8 will be converted       
during the balance of the year and 17 stores will remain franchised.            
Converted franchise stores are treated as non-comparable.                       
Sales in Australia contracted 2.8% in Australian dollar terms, with sales in    
comparable stores declining by 5.5%. Space in Australia grew by 0.7%.           
Country Road's South African sales are included in the South African            
clothing segment.                                                               
The Woolworths Financial Services debtors' book reflected year on year          
growth of 6.7% at the end of December 2011. The impairment rate for the six     
months to December 2011 was 1.7% compared with 1.6% for the equivalent          
period last year.                                                               
TRADING STATEMENT                                                               
We expect that both earnings per share ("EPS") and headline earnings per        
share ("HEPS") for the 26 week period to 25 December 2011 will be between 30-   
35% higher than the corresponding reporting period.  Included in both EPS       
and HEPS is a R41m post-tax unrealised gain from the mark-to-market of          
foreign exchange contracts open at 25 December 2011.                            
Shareholders are advised that the financial information contained in this       
announcement has not been reviewed and reported on by the Group's external      
The Group's interim results for the 26 week period to 25 December 2011 are      
scheduled to be announced on SENS on or about 16 February 2012.                 
Ian Moir (Group chief executive officer) on 021 407 2809                        
Norman Thomson (Group finance director) on 021 407 3337                         
Cape Town                                                                       
17 January 2012                                                                 
RAND MERCHANT BANK (A division of FirstRand Bank Limited)                       
Date: 17/01/2012 08:00:14 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.                                          
Source: JSE Securities Exchange - SENS
DISCLAIMER: http://www.mcgbfa.com/disclaimer.htm