Pharmaceutical retailer Dis-Chem said on Thursday it had managed to overcome the impact of a strike, lifting group revenue by 10 percent to R21.4 billion in the year to February 28. Photo: File

JOHANNESBURG  - Pharmaceutical retailer Dis-Chem said on Thursday it had managed to overcome the impact of a strike, lifting group revenue by 10 percent to R21.4 billion in the year to February 28.

Headline earnings increased by 7.4 percent, with earnings per share and headline earnings per share increasing to 85.4 cents.

Despite a tough economic environment and prolonged industrial action which affected almost a third of the financial year, Dis-Chem said it improved market share across all of its core categories.

"With constrained consumers continually searching for value offerings, we believe these gains are driven by our everyday low-price strategy coupled with aggressive promotional activity, our trusted in-store service, the availability of choice and our continued focus on private label and exclusive brands," Chief Executive Ivan Saltzman said.

“Our roll-out plan of adding 20 stores or more annually remains on track. We are extremely pleased with the performance of our new stores, across all formats, as we enter new markets and grow our share in existing markets.”

Dis-Chem said now that the industrial action had been concluded, management’s focus was on continuing to develop a productive employer/employee relationship, improving wholesale productivity levels and cost efficiency, as well as optimising the levels of stock holdings which the industrial action necessitated.

Cost efficiency remained a main focus and having wholesale operations that were more geographically aligned with its retail store base and the independent pharmacy market should lead to further cost containment in the next financial period, it said.

"Dis-Chem expects that the consumer will remain constrained as a result of the current macroeconomic environment," the retailer said.

"As was the case previously, the resilient markets in which Dis-Chem operates, together with the brand positioning, will offer a certain amount of protection against the weak environment."

Dis-Chem said it remained focused on adding retail stores, with five having been added since the reporting period and an additional 19 planned through to February 2020.

African News Agency (ANA)