Mr Price earning photographs.PHOTO SUPPLIED

Johannesburg - JSE-listed Mr Price Group boosted sales by 16 percent in first four months of its fiscal year, bucking the slowing trend in the retail sector as debt-laden consumers flocked to its no-frills stores.

Mr Price, which runs apparel outlets, said on Wednesday cash sales increased 19 percent in the four months from March 30, compared with the same period a year ago, and contributed more than 80 percent of the total sales.

South African retailers have been squeezed in recent years as their consumers battle with high personal debt, rising fuel and electricity prices and high unemployment.

But Mr Price, whose market value has shot past its nearest rivals Foschini Group and Truworths in recent months, has fared better because of its budget-friendly products.

“The retail environment is expected to remain constrained for the remainder of the year. As a fashion-value retailer, the group is comparatively well positioned,” Mr Price said in a statement.

Shares in the company rose 1.4 percent to 208.25 rand in afternoon trade, outpacing a 0.4 percent gain the broader JSE All-share index. - Reuters