Woolworths (WHL) – Prime Property

The high realised values of the two Australian properties were rare positives from the David Jones acquisition. We believe that David Jones may be more saleable with the Elizabeth Street and Bourke Street properties as an underpin for any future deal, instead of the proposed sale and leaseback options. These properties may be valued at c. AUD640m (R7.6bn), which accounts for 92% of the R8.3bn carrying value of David Jones. WHL FBH space will be cut significantly over the next three years, and we estimate the online sales contribution will have to increase from 2.0% to 8.9% by FY23 to compensate for the lost sales of the space reduction. Failing this, FBH could lose market share, in our view. We present scenarios in which the Australian business could deplete its unutilised funding facilities, and result in a drawdown of WHL’s funding. While the SA Food business performed strongly, we do not think the elevated sales growth levels are sustainable. WHL’s previously uncontested dominance of the high-income food spend could increasingly be challenged by Checkers, in our view.