SPAR group's share price climbed more than 3% on the JSE after it released a favourable trading update for the 17 weeks to January 27. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/ANA
JOHANNESBURG - SPAR group's share price climbed more than 3percent on the JSE after it released a favourable trading update for the 17 weeks to January 27.

The group recorded sales growth in almost all of its businesses, with only the Swiss business reporting a decline during the period.

Spar’s sales increased 7percent during the period, which included Christmas sales, to R33.8billion, up from R31.6bn compared with the same period a year earlier.

Group sales in South Africa increased 7.9percent and were positively impacted by the newly acquired S Buys pharmaceutical business being recognised for the period.

S Buys was integrated into the group in October last year.

On a like-for-like basis, South African group sales increased 6.4percent, and the group said this reflected continued weak consumer spending. The stock gained from a one-month low of R189.84 a share to R196.27 yesterday afternoon, before closing at R196.25.

The group said its core Spar business reported sales growth of 5.7percent, with same-store sales increasing 4.1percent.

Internally measured price inflation of about 2.2percent decreased substantially from the previous period, largely driven by commodity-price deflation.

Spar’s liquor sales division, Tops, continued to be the top performer, with liquor sales remaining high during the period. The division’s strong growth was maintained during the period when it exceeded 11.1percent sales in an extremely competitive retail sector.

In the results of the year to end of September, released in November last year, the division recorded 12.4percent growth in turnover to R10bn.

The hardware and building requirements division, Build It, reported strong results, with sales growth of 7.2percent, improving on last year’s results growth of 4.3percent.

- BUSINESS REPORT