File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi

JOHANNESBURG - Fashion apparel group Mr Price said on Friday that it was looking at regaining lost market share in two of its divisions, MRP Apparel and Miladys, after they underperformed in the previous financial year.

Mr Price said given the current low growth economy and resultant poor retail environment, the most significant near-term opportunity was to regain lost market share in MRP Apparel and Miladys.

With their improved trading and inventory performance, Mr Price said these two divisions were expected to contribute positively to the group's anticipated improvement in gross profit margin for the first half ending 30 September.

Mr Price said retail sales had grown by 6.2% to R6.5 billion for the first four months, or 18 weeks to 5 August, of the financial year ending 31 March 2018.

The combined South African sales growth of MRP Apparel and Milady’s from April to June 2017 was 10.1%, which compared favourably to other department store retailers of textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods.

Mr Price's total retail sales and other income grew 6% to R6.9 billion.

Retail sales for the three-week period from 6 to 26 August were up 6.8%and comparable store sales 4.8%

Mr Price said despite intensified competitor promotional activity, its focused efforts were proving successful.