DURBAN – JSE-listed Italtile expects its sales for the second half to remain under pressure as consumers continue to feel the impact of the country’s sluggish economy, impacted by high levels of unemployment and the deterioration in the retail and construction sectors.
Italtile has retail brands such as CTM, Italtile Retail, TopT and U-Light. It has a 95.47 percent stake in Ceramic Industries and a 71.54 percent stake in Ezee Tile Adhesive Manufacturers.
In a trading update released on Friday, the supplier of ceramic tiles reported a 1.4 percent increase in system-wide turnover to R5.4 billion for the six months to the end of December, with Eskom power interruptions adding to the company’s challenges during the period.
“Consumer confidence and investment sentiment remained subdued in the absence of transformational economic and socio-political reforms, continued policy uncertainty and an increasingly unstable power supply,” the group said.
The group said, as a result, household discretionary spend remained severely constrained in the context of escalating living costs, limited wage inflation, high levels of personal debt, retrenchments and unprecedented unemployment rates.