Dis-Chem’s half-year profit on a per share basis rose 10.5 percent as it lifted market share across all divisions. File picture: Henk Kruger
JOHANNESBURG - South African pharmacy group Dis-Chem’s half-year profit on a per share basis rose 10.5 percent as it lifted its market share across all divisions.

The drugstore chain said diluted headline earnings per share (HEPS) was 51.7 cents, compared with 46.8 cents per share for the six-month period ended August 2017.

Headline EPS is the most widely watched profit measure in South Africa which strips out certain one-off items.

Dis-Chem said the 1 percent VAT increase in April along with the fuel price increases had dampened trading in April and July.

“Subsequently, we have seen trading improvements in August and then again in September, suggesting consumer confidence is improving slightly,” Chief Executive Ivan Saltzman said in a statement.

Group turnover grew by 9.4 percent to R10.5 billion from R9.6 billion.

Dis-Chem declared a gross dividend of 20.69 cents per share.

CONTINUED GROWTH

In July, Dis-Chem Pharmacies said sales rose by 11 percent in the first four months of the financial year.

The growth was boosted from its beauty, healthcare and other front-of-shop products.

The company, which listed on the stock exchange in 2016, said group sales rose to R7 billion in the four months through June 30 compared with the same period a year earlier.

Retail sales increased 11.1 percent to R 6.4bn from R5.7bn in the prior period, despite consumers tightening their belts after an increases in value-added tax (VAT) and fuel prices.

“The continuing increase in the fuel price along with the 1 percent increase in the VAT rate continues to put pressure on consumers which was evident in our April and May retail sales,” Saltzman said in a statement.

REUTERS