Trading update and trading statement: 26 weeks ended 24 December 2017
Woolworths Holdings Limited
(Incorporated in the Republic of South Africa)
Registration number 1929/001986/06
Share code: WHL
TRADING UPDATE AND TRADING STATEMENT: 26 WEEKS ENDED 24 DECEMBER 2017
Group sales for the first 26 weeks of the 2018 financial year increased by 2.5% over the prior period
(and by 2.9% in constant currency terms).
In South Africa, Woolworths Fashion, Beauty and Home (FBH) sales decreased by 0.2% with
comparable store sales 3.4% lower. Price movement was 0.7%. Woolworths Food sales increased
by a market-leading 9.4%, with comparable store sales up 5.3%. Price movement was 4.4%. Net
retail space grew by 3.6% and 6.8% in FBH and Food respectively.
In Australia, David Jones' sales performance improved in the last 6 weeks of the half, with sales
increasing by 0.6% in comparable stores. For the half year sales were 3.3% lower on a comparable
basis and 3.8% lower in total, which is an improvement on the 20 week performance. Country Road
Group (CRG) sales increased by 5.2%. Sales in comparable stores (which exclude Politix, acquired
in November 2016) declined by 1.0%. Net retail space reduced by 2.2% and 3.8% in David Jones
and CRG respectively, as we continue to drive space optimisation.
The Woolworths Financial Services debtors' book reflected positive year-on-year growth of 4.1% as
at the end of December 2017, with strong growth in the credit card portfolio. The annualised
impairment rate for the six months ended 31 December 2017 reduced to 5.0% from 5.9% in the prior
Shareholders are advised that headline earnings per share (HEPS) and adjusted diluted HEPS, for
the 26-week period ended 24 December 2017, are expected to be within the ranges reflected in the
December 2016 December 2017 expected 2017 expected range
reported growth range (cents)
HEPS 242.6 -12.5% to -17.5% 200.1 to 212.3
Adjusted diluted HEPS 244.9 -7.5% to -12.5% 214.3 to 226.5
Earnings per share (EPS) for the 26-week period ended 24 December 2017 is expected to be more
than 20% (69 cents) lower than EPS for the 26-week period ended 25 December 2016 (2016 EPS:
345.1 cents) due to the inclusion in the prior period of the profit on disposal of the David Jones'
Market Street property in Sydney, as well as the impact of a potential re-assessment of the carrying
value of the David Jones' assets, which is currently in process.
A further trading statement will be issued closer to the release of the interim results, providing further
and more specific guidance on EPS.
The estimated financial information contained in this announcement has not been audited, reviewed
or reported upon by the Group's external auditors.
The Group's interim results for the 26-week period ended 24 December 2017 are scheduled to be
announced on the Stock Exchange News Service on or about 22 February 2018.
Reeza Isaacs (Group Finance Director) on 021 407 2464
Ralph Buddle on 021 407 3250
15 January 2018
RAND MERCHANT BANK (A division of FirstRand Bank Limited)
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