According to a trading statement by Woolworths Holdings Limited, the WHL Board, Group CEO and senior executive team members have decided to forego up to 30% of their salaries in order to financially support staff.
The cuts will be done over the next three months. Savings arising from this will be used to provide additional financial support to staff who find themselves in extreme hardship as a result of the current crisis”.
WHL published their trading statement on Monday, giving an update on the impact of COVID-19. The pandemic has affected all the markets that the group operates in. The group is actively looking at various operational steps and strategies to lessen the impact of the crisis and make sure they use the best way to handle this developing situation.
In the statement, WHL says its first priority is the health and safety of their staff, customers and stakeholders, including their extended value chain. The stores, distribution centres and other operations are working closely with the health and safety partners, to make sure that all operations continue to comply with the best hygiene and social distancing protocols.
The group has implemented alternative working hours and more flexible practices, which includes working from home.
“Capital expenditure has been cut, with only critical projects moving forward. We have engaged with our suppliers to reduce apparel product intake and to extend payment terms. We are also meeting with landlords to explore alternative arrangements to current lease commitments, through the relevant period.”
“Sales in the four weeks to the end of March have increased by 27.6% on the prior comparable period compared to a growth of 7.5% in the preceding nine weeks of the second half”
Woolworths Fashion, Beauty and Home (‘FBH’)
“Sales in the four weeks to the end of March declined by 27.8% on the prior comparable period, compared to a 1.9% increase in the first nine weeks of the second half of the financial year.”
Woolworths Financial Services (‘WFS’)
“WFS will be impacted by the closure of stores, drop in disposable income and lower interest rates. This combination of factors will reduce revenue and increase impairments for the second half of the financial year. We are currently considering debt relief measures, reassessing our risk appetite and parameters, making alternative payment opportunities available to our customers and reducing operating expenses.”
The statement concluded with, “Shareholders are advised that headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the 52-week period ending 28 June 2020 is expected to be more than 20% (more than 66.1 cents) lower than the reported HEPS for the comparable period in the prior year (2019 HEPS: 330.4 cents). A further trading statement will be issued in order to provide specific guidance once the Group is reasonably certain regarding the HEPS and earnings per share (EPS) ranges for the 52-week period ending 28 June 2020.”