S.Africa’s Woolworths Set To Beat Full-Year Sales Estimates

WOOLMATH-CopySouth Africa’s Woolworths Holdings Ltd is poised to beat estimates with its annual sales next month after the upscale retailer said on Wednesday revenue likely surged 55 per cent.

Woolworths Holdings Limited said sales were boosted by the first time contribution from David Jones, a Australian department store chain it acquired in August last year.

The sales growth guidance is above a 57 per cent forecast by Thomson Reuters StarMine SmartEstimates, which puts more weight on timely forecasts and those from historically accurate analysts.

Shares in Woolworths, which are up about 24 per cent so far this year, gained 1.5 percent to 96.57 rand, outpacing a 0.6 percent gain in the JSE Top-40 index.

Excluding the impact of David Jones, sales grew 12 percent, slightly slower than a year ago, reflecting slack consumer spending at its mainstay South African market.

Retailers in Africa’s most advanced economy are struggling to grow sales at a faster rate as shoppers battle high personal debt levels and rising fuel prices.

But Woolworths has fared better than rivals such Shoprite and Pick n Pay as its well-heeled consumers continue to splash out on its gourmet ostrich burgers and high-margin clothing label, Country Road.

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