SPAR reports slower growth

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SPAR reports slower growth

Published Date: 2020-02-12 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

SPAR reports slower growth

The retailer and wholesaler has faced challenging conditions in all three of its main geographies as it expands into Poland.

SPAR says it's had a challenging start to its financial year, with slowing growth at some of its businesses and a decline in sales at its Swiss supermarkets. It has also been awarded sole operator status of the SPAR brand in Poland following an acquisition there.

In a trading update, the retail and wholesale group reported a 5.4% increase in group sales to R39.8 billion for the 18 weeks to 31 January. SPAR Southern Africa grew sales by 4.9% but liquor sales slowed with growth of 4.5% and Build It recorded a 3.4% decline in sales, reflecting the extreme pressure experienced by the building materials sector.

SPAR Ireland increased turnover by 0.7% in euro terms and 1.5% in rand. It said the division recorded growth across all retail brands and wholesale divisions in a challenging economic environment, impacted by Brexit concerns. Turnover was supported by two recently-acquired wholesale businesses.

Its Swiss business continued to reflect negative local market conditions, with turnover declining by 1.9% in Swiss francs. In rand, turnover rose 2.6%. While disappointing, SPAR said its performance tracked ahead of the general Swiss retail markets.

During the period, SPAR concluded the acquisition of a controlling interest in Polish retail business Piotr I Pawel. It said its trading performance was in line with expectations as it continued to restructure its debt.

Its results for the six months to end-March are scheduled for release on 13 May. Its shares fell 3.8% to R186.50 yesterday.





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