Mr Price shares reach 24-year high

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Mr_Price INDEPENDENT MEDIA A Mr Price retail store

Johannesburg - Mr Price Group, a South African retailer that sells most of its clothing and housewares for cash, reached a 24-year high in Johannesburg as revenue gains ran counter to a consumer-industry spending slump.

Mr Price jumped 1.7 percent to 208.88 rand at the close of trading, the highest price since at least August 1990.

Mr Price has gained 28 percent this year, the best performance among South African retailers.

Sales in the 18 weeks through August 2 rose 16 percent, speeding up from 12 percent growth a year earlier, the Durban-based company said in a statement today.

That contrasts with slowing revenue growth at Shoprite, South Africa’s biggest food retailer and a seller of goods mainly for cash, as tighter household budgets and rising personal debt levels hold back customer spending.

Nationwide retail-industry sales were unchanged in June, the worst performance since December 2009, and the South African Reserve Bank has raised its benchmark interest rate twice this year.

Cash sales at Mr Price outlets climbed 19 percent and accounted for 81 percent of revenue.

Credit sales rose 5.7 percent.

Revenue at the clothing division, which generates almost three-fourths of total sales, climbed 18 percent, compared to 14 percent a year earlier. - Bloomberg News

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