Spar defies the retail blues


Spar defies the retail blues


Published Date: 2019-02-13 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Spar defies the retail blues

The supermarket and distribution group has reported a strong start to its 2019 financial year, helped by liquor and hardware sales.

Spar has had a strong start to its 2019 financial year due to decent turnover growth in South Arica and Ireland, leaving its Swiss operations as the only outlier.

The supermarket and distribution group grew group sales by 8.2% to R36.5 billion in the 17 weeks to 26 January, with local sales up by 7.7%. It said these included the S. Buys wholesale pharmaceutical business, which it bought towards the end of 2017. On a like-for-like basis, SA sales rose by 7.6%, reflecting weak consumer spend. While its core Spar business reported sales growth of 5.7%, its liquor business grew sales by more than 19% in what it said was a highly competitive retail sector. Its Build It chain grew sales by 10.3%.

In Ireland, all its retail brands and wholesale divisions recorded solid growth, with turnover rising by 8.4% in euro terms. It said this included the contributions of the 4 Aces Wholesale and Corrib Foods businesses which were acquired during the previous calendar year. It rand terms, sales rose 11.5%.

Spar said its business in Switzerland continued to reflect the negative local market conditions, with sales down 1.5% in Swiss francs but 4.1% higher in rand. Its wholesale division reported sales growth of 4.8%.

Spar's shares gained 5% to R199.78 yesterday.


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