Africa’s largest food retailer, Shoprite, plans to exit Kenya by the end of the year.
The South African company, on Tuesday, said it expects to close its remaining two stores in Kenya in the year ahead.
Shoprite opened its first store in the East African country at Westgate Mall, Nairobi in 2018. But the retailer says “Kenya has continued to underperform relative to our return requirements” thus the decision to exit the country.
The supermarket chain has been reviewing its long-term options in Africa as currency devaluations, supply issues and low consumer spending in Angola, Nigeria and Zambia have weighed on earnings.
The decision to leave comes a month after Shoprite said it was considering reducing or selling all of its stake in its Nigerian subsidiary.
Shoprite, with more than 2,300 stores across Africa, reported a 6.4% rise in sales for the year ended June 28, with like-for-like sales up by 4.4% as customers spent more on groceries at its discount Usave and mid-to-upper end Checkers stores.
Diluted headline earnings per share (HEPS), the main profit measure used in South Africa, from continuing operations rose to 765.8 cents against a restated figure of 746.9 cents a year earlier.
Shoprite declared a final dividend of 227 cents per share.