The Mr Price group said on Thursday that its chief executive, Stuart Bird, will retire by the end of the year. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)
CAPE TOWN - The Mr Price group said on Thursday that its chief executive, Stuart Bird will retire by the end of the year. 

Mr Price chief executive, Stuart Bird. Supplied

Bird has been head of the company for more than eight years, the statement read. 

The chief executive is also an executive director and he will vacate that role by March 2019. 

Mr Price said that their current chief financial officer, Mark Blair, will succeed Bird and take over the role as chief from the beginning of January next year. 

Mr Price chief financial officer, Mark Blair. Supplied

“Over the eight years of Stuart’s leadership, earnings have grown at a compound rate of 18.8 percent,” Chairman Nigel Payne said.

SALES GROWTH  

Mr Price’s total retail sales, including sales to franchisees, grew by 6.5 percent to R6.9 billion for the four months to August 4, boosted by Milady’s women fashion store, which grew its retail sales by 9.1 percent during the period.  

Group cash sales increased 7 percent, while credit sales were up by 4.1 percent. Cash sales now constitute 82.9 percent of the group’s overall sales. 

Online sales continue to be popular among the consumers as it reported an overall growth of 28.1 percent to R83.2 million during the period. 

The MRP Apparel online channel was the star performer, achieving online sales growth of 37.6 percent, followed by MRP Sport with 31.3 percent growth and MRP Home was up by 19.5 percent. 

The group said South African sales increased by 6.4 percent to R6.4bn, while sales in non-South African corporate-owned stores grew 9.1 percent to R520.8m, helped by the inclusion of previously franchised Kenyan stores from late May 2018. 

“Excluding Kenya, corporate-owned store growth was 1.8 percent,” the group said. 


BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE/REUTERS