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Former M&S Boss Rose Joins South Africa’s Woolworths

Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Woolworths Holdings Ltd., a South African food and clothing retailer, appointed Stuart Rose, former chairman and chief executive officer of Marks & Spencer Group Plc, as a non-executive director.

“Sir Stuart brings strong international retail experience to the board,” Cape Town-based Woolworths said in a stock exchange filing today.

Rose relinquished the position of CEO of London-based Marks & Spencer, the U.K.’s biggest clothing retailer last year, and retired as chairman on Jan. 4. He joined Bridgepoint Capital Ltd. in September to advise the private equity company on retail investments.

Woolworths today said sales for the 26-weeks ended Dec. 26 rose 9.8 percent from a year earlier, with revenue in stores open at least a year gaining 5.9 percent.

Earnings per share for the period are expected to be between 17 percent and 20 percent higher than a year earlier, the company said. Adjusted earnings per share after one-time profits and losses are likely to be between 24 percent and 27 percent higher, “due to the exclusion of the abnormal foreign exchange gain in the previous year”.

Woolworths shares fell 50 cents, or 2 percent, to 24.35 rand at 9:43 a.m. in Johannesburg, valuing the company at 20.6 billion rand ($2.9 billion).

The retailer is not related to London-based Woolworths Group Plc, which collapsed in 2008, or Woolworths Ltd., located in Sydney.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Cohen in Cape Town at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at

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