Woolworths 26-week sales up

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Woolworths_dec 10 INDEPENDENT MEDIA File photo by Simphiwe Mbokazi

Johannesburg - Woolworths Holdings (WHL) said Wednesday that its group sales for the first 26 weeks of the June 2013 financial year increased by 18.0% over the comparable period in 2012. Sales in comparable stores grew by 9.4%.

The group also advised that earnings per share and headline earnings per share for the 26 weeks to 23 December 2012 will be between 18-24% higher than the corresponding reporting period of the previous year.

Clothing sales in South Africa grew by 13.0% with a price movement of 5.5%. Sales in comparable stores grew by 7.7%.

Food sales grew by 11.1% with a price movement of 7.4%. Sales in comparable stores grew by 7.8%. General merchandise grew by 7.7% and by 4.0% in comparable stores.

Woolworths retail space‚ including stores in the rest of Africa‚ grew by 5.7%‚ net of closures and excluding franchise conversions.

Sales in Australia and New Zealand increased 55.6%‚ in Australian dollar terms. Witchery and Mimco´s sales are included from the effective date of the acquisition on 29th September 2012.

Sales in comparable stores increased by 10.7% and net space‚ excluding the acquisition‚ contracted 2.0%. Country Road´s South African sales are included in the SA clothing figures.

The Woolworths Financial Services debtors´ book reflected year on year growth of 12% at the end of December 2012‚ with the annualised impairment rate for the six months to December 2012 at 1.5%.

The company said included in both EPS and HEPS are transaction costs of R52m relating to the acquisition of the Witchery Group‚ once- off store employee restructuring costs of R43m‚ and net unrealised foreign exchange losses of R16m.

Adjusting for these items‚ core EPS and core HEPS are expected to be between 33-39% higher than the corresponding reporting period of the previous year.

The group´s interim results are scheduled to be announced on or about 14 February 2013. - I-Net Bridge

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