2002/08/01
Woolworths Holdings Limited - Statement On Country Road Limited [JSE Securities Exchange - SENS]
 
WOOLWORTHS HOLDINGS LIMITED
STATEMENT ON COUNTRY ROAD LIMITED
Woolworths Holdings Limited's Australian subsidiary, Country Road Limited toda
released, on the Australian Stock Exchange, a trading update for the six month
period ended 30 June 2002.
Following their exit from the USA market in January 2002, Country Road Limited
expects to report a profit before borrowing costs and income tax of between
A$1.5m and A$2m for the six months ended 30 June 2002.  This result will
represent an improvement of between A$9.0m and A$9.5m for the second half
compared to last year. These results are currently unaudited, with final audit
results expected to be available in late August 2002.
The following is a brief update on the Australasian trading result for the six
month period ended 30 June 2002.
Profitability
The Australasian business expects to report a profit before borrowing costs an
tax of between A$1.5 to A$2 million for the six month period.  This represents
turnaround in profitability for the Australasian business of between A$4.0m an
A$4.5m compared to the same period last year.
Sales
Australasian sales totalled A$101.6 million for the six month period.  This
represents growth of approximately 3.6% compared to the same period last year,
although margins were adversely affected by increased promotional activity
against a backdrop of high competition, significant discounting and unusually
warm winter weather.
Expenses
Expenses for the Australasian business were approximately 6% lower than the sa
period last year due to a continued focus on cost control, and sustainable cos
reductions achieved as a result of improved and simplified business processes.
Stock Levels
Stock levels at 30 June for the Australasian business are expected to be 8.5%
lower than last year and reflect an ongoing commitment to increase stock-turn
and reduce stockholding.
Financing Arrangements
Country Road Limited has in principle agreement from its primary bank for
ongoing facilities on a rolling 12 monthly basis.  The company has met all of
its monthly cash flow and EBIT covenants and has now returned to quarterly
reporting.
Outlook
The Australasian apparel retail environment continues to be a competitive one.
However their forward ranges have been presented to their wholesale customers
and all divisions were well received and orders were up on the previous year.
- END -
Contact : Simon Susman : Chief Executive Officer - 083 252 5696
Date: 01/08/2002 04:48:04 PM Produced by the JSE SENS Department
Source: JSE Securities Exchange - SENS
 
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