South African retailer Woolworths Holdings said it expects its annual earnings per share to grow by 20%, boosted by an asset sale.

The food and apparel company said yesterday (20 May) that earnings growth was primarily due to the disposal of a 50% plus one share in Woolworths Financial Services to ABSA Group last October for SAR380m (US$45m).

However, the company said it could not provide guidance on headline EPS due to the significance of the peak winter retail trading season and fluctuating exchange rates.

The group’s results for the full year ending June 2009 are expected to be released on 27 August.