SALES at Mr Price rose 16 percent in the first four months of its financial year, bucking the slowing trend in the retail sector, the no-frills clothing and homeware retailer said yesterday. Mr Price said cash sales increased 19 percent year on year in the 18 weeks to August 2, and contributed more than 80 percent of the total sales. Credit sales grew 5.7 percent. Retailers have been squeezed in recent years as their consumers battle with high personal debt, rising fuel and electricity prices and high unemployment. But Mr Price, whose market value has shot past its nearest rivals Foschini and Truworths in recent months, has fared better because of its budget products. “The retail environment is expected to remain constrained for the remainder of the year. As a fashion-value retailer, the group is comparatively well positioned,” Mr Price said in a statement. The group opened 24 stores and closed two in the period. The shares rose 1.73 percent to close at R208.88 yesterday, valuing it at R53 billion. – Reuters