Shoprite announces plan to exit Nigeria market
JOHANNESBURG - Africa's largest food retailer Shoprite said on Monday it had decided to initiate a formal process to consider the potential sale of all, or a majority stake, in its subsidiary Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited.
In a trading update, Shoprite said it had made the decision following approaches from various potential investors, and in line with its re-evaluation of the group’s operating model in the West African country.
Any further updates would be provided to the market at the appropriate time, it added.
The retailer, which operates more than 2,900 outlets in 15 countries across Africa and the Indian Ocean islands, said it had increased total sale of merchandise for the 52 weeks to June by 6.4 percent to about R156.9 billion (US$9.14 billion) despite difficult circumstances.
Sales growth of 8.7 percents in its main South African supermarkets division was underpinned by a strong second half.
As a result of a lockdown imposed by the government from late March to curb transmissions of Covid-19, customer visits for the year declined by 7.4 percent, but average basket spending increased by 18.4 percent.
"Superb execution across the business coupled with considerable efforts from our suppliers resulted in volume growth of 2.3 percent for the year. Market share figures insofar as they are available ... reflect consecutive monthly market share gains for the past 15 months," the retail group said.
It said in equally, if not more difficult circumstances resulting from Covid-19 lockdown regulations, its non-South African supermarkets unit reported an overall decline in sales of 1.4 percent for the year.
Shoprite said it had incurred Covid-19 related costs pertaining to compliance with national lockdown regulations together with managing and protecting its employees, customers, stores, inventory and distribution infrastructure.
Net costs amounted to R327.2 million (US$19.1 million) spent across the areas of health and safety, security, mobile clinics, personal protective equipment, temperature scanners, store and distribution centre sanitation, employee meals, communication costs and remote network access for employees.
"The most significant spend pertained to R116.9 million paid to our employees, inclusive of an appreciation bonus to assist them with the difficulties we anticipated would accompany the nationwide lockdown," the company added.
- African News Agency (ANA),