DURBAN – The Spar Group posted an 8.2 percent increase in sales to R36.53 billion for the 17 weeks to January 26, boosted by another significant contribution by its liquor business, which delivered 19.2 percent growth during the period.
Group sales, including the S.Buys pharmaceutical business in South Africa, increased 7.7 percent.
On a like-for-like basis, the South African group sales increased by 7.6 percent and this reflected a weak consumer spend in the country.
“The core Spar business reported sales growth of 5.7 percent, with same-store sales increasing by 3.8 percent. Internally measured price inflation of about 1.4 percent reflected the decrease in prices from the previous comparative period as deflation continued to be measured in a wide range of grocery and perishable items,” the group said.
The group’s Build It business also reported a strong growth as it reported 10.3 percent increase in sales, attributing it to retail growth and improved customer loyalty.
The share price responded positively to the trading update as it surged by 5.03 percent on the JSE to close at R199.78 yesterday.
However, Spar Switzerland continue to encounter tough trading conditions as the business reported 1.5 percent decline is sales.
“The group’s Swiss business continued to reflect the negative local market conditions and sales declined 1.5 percent in Swiss franc currency terms. This result is still influenced by the strategic disposal of certain corporate retail stores during the latter part of the previous financial year,” the group said. But its wholesale division reported 4.8 percent growth in sales. Measured in rand terms, sales increased by 4.1 percent.
“Management remains satisfied that the implemented strategy continues to show positive results.”
Spar Ireland increased sales by 8.4 percent in euro-currency terms, reflecting the contributions of the four Aces Wholesale and Corrib Foods businesses acquired during the previous calendar year.
The group said the sales growth was 11.5 percent when combined with a slightly weakened rand.
The financial results for the six months to March will be released on or about May 15.