Cape Town 091013. Foschini in the Golden Acre, Cape Town. PHOTO SAM CLARK, Buisness Report.

Johannesburg - The Foschini Group Ltd. said December revenue grew faster compared with a year earlier as the South African retailer sold more women’s clothing.

Sales increased 11.4 percent in the four weeks ending December 28, while same-store revenue gained 5.3 percent, the Cape Town- based company said in a statement today.

That compares with growth of 10.5 percent in the same period a year ago.

“Christmas trading was satisfactory and in line with expectation across all merchandise categories,” the company said.

Clothing sales rose 11.9 percent, beating growth of homewares, cosmetics and jewellry.

South African retailers struggled last year as rising prices and unemployment pushed consumer confidence to the lowest level in a decade.

The Reserve Bank has kept the benchmark repurchase rate unchanged at a 30-year low in an effort to boost spending.

Foschini shares fell 0.2 percent to 96.45 rand by 10:16 a.m. in Johannesburg, outperforming larger competitor Truworths International Ltd., which was down 3 percent.

Truworths said yesterday its sales rose 7.1 percent in the half year to December 29, compared with 14.8 percent growth in the same period a year earlier. - Bloomberg News