Italtile expects its earnings a share to fall between 54.4 cents a share and 55.9c, up from last year’s 48.6c. Photo: Supplied

DURBAN – Supplier of ceramic tiles Italtile expects to report an increase of between 12 and 15 percent in basic earnings per share for the six months to end December, despite subdued consumer spending. 

The group, with retail brands such as Italtile Retail, CTM and TopT, expects its earnings a share to fall between 54.4 cents a share and 55.9c, up from last year’s 48.6c. 

The group said yesterday that weak trading conditions had persisted over the review period as consumer discretionary spend remained constrained due to high levels of personal indebtedness, unprecedented unemployment and recent hikes in interest rates, VAT and fuel price increases.

“In addition, country-specific risks continued to subdue sentiment and restrain meaningful investment by the public and private sectors in the face of policy uncertainty, endemic corruption, dissatisfaction with poor service delivery and inconsistent power supply,” the group said.

Despite this, the group said its system-wide turnover increased by 25.3 percent to R5.3 billion, up from R4.3bn compared to last year. It said its strategy included improvement of sales levers and enhancing the range, fashion and availability of business-critical merchandise. 

Italtile also holds a 95.47 percent stake in Ceramic Industries and an effective 71.54 percent stake in Ezee Tile. 

The group said the results included the consolidated results of both businesses for the full six-month period from July to December last year as the businesses were acquired, effective on October 2, 2017.

Italtile shares closed unchanged at R13.90 on the JSE yesterday.

BUSINESS REPORT