South Africa’s largest grocery retailer, Shoprite Holdings, announced a 20.3 per cent jump in annual earnings on Tuesday and said it intended to conclude the sale of Madagascar and Uganda assets in 2022.
The retailer, with more than 2,800 stores across 13 countries in Africa, reported its annual headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the 53 weeks ended July 4 rose to 956.3 cents from a restated 794.7 cents in 2020.
HEPS is the main profit measure in South Africa.
Retail merchandise sales from continuing operations increased by 8.1 per cent to 168 billion rand, reflecting stronger grocery sales in its South Africa business through Shoprite, Usave, and Checkers chains as the average basket spent grew by 13.6 per cent despite lower customer visits.
Additionally, COVID-19 restrictions on alcohol sales were lifted, which contributed to fewer liquor store closures, and continued bumper furniture sales driven by a home improvement trend contributed to the overall sales performance.
Supermarkets operating elsewhere in Africa continue to face macroeconomic challenges and consumer affordability constraints, exacerbated by COVID-19 restrictions and regulations.
In spite of these factors, constant currency sales from continuing operations increased by 6.8 per cent. However, in rand terms, sales declined by 7.5 per cent due to currency devaluation as well as sales in Nigeria, Kenya, Madagascar, and Uganda.
In line with a review of its Africa portfolio, Shoprite discontinued its operations in Uganda and Madagascar last month.
It has five stores in Uganda and 10 in Madagascar.
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