DURBAN – Lewis Group surged more than 12 percent on the JSE on Wednesday after the multi-brand furniture and appliances retailer defied constrained consumer spending with double-digit growth in the six months to end September on the performance of its United Furniture Outlets (UFO) subsidiary.
Lewis said sales in UFO – which it acquired for R320 million in 2017 – rose 8.8 percent, pushing up its overall headline earnings per share by 18.9 percent to 215 cents a share during the period.
The group said merchandise sales shot up 6.4 percent to R1.7 billion. It said traditional retail brands Lewis, Best Home and Electric and Beares grew sales by 3.7 percent.
Chief executive Johan Enslin said the performance was an indication that the group’s strategy of diversifying across market segments and retail channels continues to gain traction.
“The credit health of the group’s customer base continued to improve, despite the weak consumer credit environment,” Enslin said. “Credit collection rates improved from 77.2 percent to 79.6 percent, which contributed to debtor costs declining by 0.4 percent.”