Massmart reports heady sales rise

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IOL Pic BR Massmart 6274 Independent Newspapers Stock photo by Simphiwe Mbokazi.

South African discount retailer Massmart Holdings Ltd reported a 16 percent rise in full-year sales on Wednesday, a touch above analysts estimates, boosted by the inclusion recently acquired stores.

Massmart, majority owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc, said in a trading statement that sales totalled 61.2 billion rand ($7.56 billion) in the 52-weeks to June 24, slightly beating the 61.1 billion rand in an consensus estimate of 10 analysts polled by Reuters.

The company finalised the purchase of 14 outlets of South African unlisted grocer Rhino Cash & Carry in March, to help it challenge dominant food retailers such as Shoprite Holdings and Pick n Pay Stores.

Massmart, which will release its full year-end result on August 22, said all four of its divisions posted double digit sales growth with its wholesale Makro business adding 20.1 percent.

Its Massdiscounters unit that comprise its flagship Game stores grew sales by 16.5 percent, while its building materials unit lifted sales by 13 percent.

Shares in Massmart, which have hardly moved so far this year, were up 0.73 percent at 171.61 rand, valuing the company at $4.6 billion. -Tiisetso Motsoeneng, Reuters

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