Bloomberg News

Woolworths Gains to 13-Year High as Earnings Beat Estimates

July 19, 2011

(Updates with analyst expectations in third paragraph.)

July 19 (Bloomberg) -- Woolworths Holdings Ltd., the South African food and clothing retailer, gained to the highest price in more than 13 years after saying full-year profit rose more than analysts estimated.

The stock climbed as much as 3.1 percent to 31.80 rand, the highest intraday level since at least Oct. 21, 1997, and traded at 31.71 rand as of 11:38 a.m. in Johannesburg.

Earnings per share for the year through June 26 climbed 20 percent to 30 percent, Woolworths said in a regulatory filing today. The median estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for a gain of 18 percent to 1.89 rand a share. The company intends to release results on about Aug. 25.

South African consumer spending, which accounts for two- thirds of demand in the economy, rose in the second quarter, the Reserve Bank said on June 21. Retail sales rose at the fastest pace in almost four years in April, increasing 9.8 percent from a year earlier, Statistics South Africa said on June 15.

--Editors: Thomas Mulier, David Risser

To contact the reporter on this story: Lauren van der Westhuizen in Cape Town Nef at lvanderwesth@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net


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