Woolies Tough Six Month Update


This morning Woolies released their 26 week (six month) sales update for the period ending 23 December. As expected, the numbers were not great. High-end food can be resistant during a tough economic period but even high earners shop down when it comes to clothing.


Shopping Paradise in Sydney


Ian Moir and his team at Woolworths have been very good at creating a quality retail experience. It has been their niche and one of the reasons we have liked the stock. Unfortunately, a few things have not gone their way, but behind the scenes they continue to work very hard.


Woolworths FY numbers - Still in turnaround mode


Vestact customers have been invested in Woolworths in their local portfolios since the middle of 2011. At the time, we felt that the clothing and food retailer was perfectly positioned to benefit from a growing middle class in South Africa, who were aspiring to shop at its upmarket stores. At the time, it traded at about R30 a share.


Woolworths 6M - A company in transition


Yesterday Woolworths released their 6-month trading statement. Off the bat, you can see the company is in a transition phase. Locally they no longer have the luxury of taking market share from Edgars and Stuttafords, coupled with three years of poor economic growth. In Australia, the David Jones turnaround is still in full swing and still has another 18-months to go before tangible results will be seen.


Woolworths 20 week update - times are tough


Last week Woolies released their 20-week trading statement, which as expected showed that they are under pressure. Their most important division from a profit margin perspective is what used to be called 'clothing and General Merchandise' and now is called 'Woolworths Fashion, Beauty and Home'. The division declined on a like for basis by 2.4% for the period.


Woolworths FY - profits down


On Thursday morning Woolies released their 52 week or full year numbers for the period ending 25 June 2017. The stock has lost around a quarter of its value over the last 12 months, so the market knew the results were not going to show the strong growth that we had become accustomed to with Woolies. Turn over for the period was up 3%. Considering that inflation is higher than that, sales volume went backwards. HEPS were down 7.6% and then some good news, management maintained the dividend at R3.13 per share. See below how and where the company makes their money.


Woolworths - 6 month numbers, no growth


Woolworths reported 26 week numbers to end 25 December 2016 on Thursday, Ian Moir the CEO put on a brave face. There is no Boxing Day for Woolies in here, before you say, what is that about, the boxing day sale for David Jones in Australia is the single biggest shopping day for the business. Must be a "thing", like Black Friday. Country Road after a few rough years is starting to show "green shoots", the company has a new CEO, no prizes for guessing that it is a Scotsman, Scott Fyfe. What is interesting is that the Scott has a lot of experience in Marks & Spencer.


Woolworths 6 month sales, disappoints


Woolworths released a trading update yesterday. The stock has been under exceptional pressure. Over a year it is down nearly 30 percent. Over five years the stock is up 65 percent. There is no doubt the stock price "got ahead" in the face of what was a deteriorating outlook. Harry Hindsight knows all of this, Harry can tell you almost anything that you want to know. That counts for nothing, if you own the stock, if you followed your rights a couple of years ago, it means very little.


Woolworths buys Politix


A relatively small announcement yesterday from one of our core holdings, Woolworths. Now remember that if you have been a shareholder for more than a few seconds, you would have been involved in the rights issue in which the company issued more shares in order to part fund the purchase of department stores in Australia, they are becoming a bigger clothing business. Fashion, at the top end of what is normal. This is not a 500 Dollar pair of leather shoes kind of market, this is the market where the shopper is undoubtably rich, not at the level of extreme luxury though. And the purchase yesterday confirms and rubber stamps that line of thinking (WTF, you can't stamp a line?).


Woolworths FY numbers - good topline growth


Yesterday we received another set of solid full year results from our favoured retail stock, Woolworths. Lets delve into the numbers straight away and then we can discuss the different segments.


Woolworth's 6 month numbers


Woolworths released six month results yesterday morning. We had already been sort of primed during the course of last month, the 26 week trading statement was released on the 14th of January. Group sales increased 17.1 percent, if you exclude David Jones (acquired on the 1 August 2014), sales grew by 12.3 percent. Basic and headline earnings grew 52.8 and 44.9 percent respectively. Headline Earnings Per Share grew by just 3.6 percent, remember that there are far more shares in issue now, due to the rights issue. Clothing and General Merchandise sales grew 12.5 percent, a pretty pleasing result. The Food business grew sales by 12.1 percent, with price movement (inflation) of 5.7 percent. It all looked OK, Ian Moir suggested in an interview that they continued to take market share across their respective businesses.


Woolies trading update


Woolworths released a trading update on Thursday, we ran out of time to cover it Friday. This wraps awfully on the Woolworths website, perhaps it is just my browser: Trading update and trading statement: 26 weeks ended 27 December 2015. Group sales, as you can see increased a pretty remarkable 17.1 percent, excluding David Jones (perhaps for the last time during this year), group sales increased 12.3 percent. Inside of the David Jones stores the shift to Woolies owned brands is evident and being well received, Country Road in Australia is definitely a beneficiary.


Woolies trading update


There was a Woolworths trading update released after the market closed last evening. This was for a 20 week period, the first of the current financial year and the lead into the stronger 6 week trading period to the day after Christmas. Group sales increased by nearly 18 percent, when compared to the comparable period in 2015, excluding David Jones group sales showed a more modest 11.7 percent increase. David Jones sales increased 12.2 percent in Aussie Dollars, Country Road sales down under (Aussie) and in the land of the long white cloud (Aotearoa or New Zealand) grew 14.2 percent. In Aussie Dollar terms. Most of that was as a result of space reallocated from other brands in David Jones stores, out with the old brands and in with the Woolies brands.


Woolworths full year numbers


Woolworths have released results for the 52 weeks to end June, remembering that these numbers include 11 months of David Jones. Total revenue of 58 billion Rands is an increase of 45.4 percent on last year, including concession sales revenues grew by 54.9 percent (excluding David Jones it is 12 percent). Adjusted profit before tax grew 20.5 percent. The food business was the great standout, total sales there were up 13.5 percent with the supermarket model working well.


52 Week trading update


Woolworths have released a 52 week trading statement this morning, group sales up a whopping 54.9 percent, if you exclude the David Jones contribution, group sales were up 12 percent. I suspect that it may take a while to normalise and get used to the greater contribution from Down Under, the business is going to have a 50/50 split between here and Australasia. Food sales grew 13.5 percent here locally, comparable store sales grew 6.6 percent. Local clothing sales were not exactly strong, 4 percent across comparable stores, 9.6 percent in total. Aussie and New Zealand was strong, Country Road sales in those two currencies grew 11.5 percent, an aggressive store space rollout inside of David Jones had a positive impact. The only negative I can see is that the impairment rate increased from 4.8 percent to 5.4 percent. A progressive dividend policy and a quality premium attached to the securities of this business should see this trading update as a neutral, perhaps a touch light. We do however think that this is the best of the retailers that we have access to here in the South African market, well run, brilliance in terms of quality and mix.


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