JOHANNESBURG - Retail group Shoprite said on Tuesday it expected headline earnings per share of 774.2 – 832.5 cents for the year ended June 30, down 14.3 to 20.3 percent from 971.4 cents in 2018.
The company however said after a transformational year in 2018 which resulted in only marginal sales growth in the first half to December, it was pleased to report improved growth in the second half with group sales up 6.5 percent.
"This performance was driven mainly by our Supermarkets RSA operation growing sales by 7.4 percent in the six months to June 2019 and 9.4 percent in the final quarter," Shoprite chief executive Pieter Engelbrecht said.
"The market share gain in the most recent quarter is testament to our core South African business being back to full operational strength."
Shoprite said trading conditions in the rest of Africa remained relentless, but added that it remained resolute in its purpose to be the continent's most affordable and accessible retailer.
"The combination of on-going low food inflation in South Africa and currency devaluations in the rest of Africa have resulted in this being a most challenging year, however the continued improvement throughout the second half is pleasing and product availability now surpasses pre-system implementation levels," Engelbrecht said.
He said better customer service levels and recent market share gains were indicative that the challenges following last year’s industrial action and the successful deployment of Shoprite's new enterprise-wide system "are now behind us".
The group’s expansion remained on track, with 80 new supermarkets opened in the period and 88 planned for the next year, Engelbrecht added.
- African News Agency (ANA)