JOHANNESBURG - Retail giant Massmart said on Thursday sales were up 5.5 percent to R43.8 billion during the 26 weeks to June 30, against a backdrop of little external support both in South Africa and the 12 other African countries in which it operates.
Massmart, the second-largest distributor of consumer goods in Africa which owns brands such as Game, Makro, Builder’s Warehouse and CBW, said the South African consumer environment, which accounts for 91.1 percent of group sales, remained challenging with no significant improvement during the past six months.
Factors that impacted trading performance included low consumer confidence, gross domestic product contraction of 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019 and an increase to 29 percent in the unemployment rate.
"The prevailing low growth economy, coupled with various internal missteps, have contributed to an unsatisfactory set of results," Massmart CEO Guy Hayward said.
"Going forward we see useful opportunity to improve our operating model to position the business to better adjust to the changed economic reality.”