Spar Group H1 earnings rise on European operations

Half-year sales rose 5.6% to R50 billion ($3.95 billion), slowing from the 12.6% growth the company reported a year earlier.

Picture: www.spar.co.za

JOHANNESBURG - South African retailer and wholesaler Spar Group Ltd reported on Wednesday a 13.8% increase in half-year earnings, boosted by contributions from its European operations.

Spar, a grocery chain which also sells building materials and medicine in Southern Africa, said headline earnings per share rose to 541.2 cents for the six months ended March from 475.5 cents a year earlier.

Headline earnings per share is the main profit measure in South Africa and strips out certain one-off items.

Half-year sales rose 5.6% to R50 billion ($3.95 billion), slowing from the 12.6% growth the company reported a year earlier.

“The sales result was positively influenced by the earlier timing of the Easter holidays, however, this was muted by substantially lower internally measured food inflation and the general impact of the listeriosis outbreak,” the company said in a statement.

South Africa is reeling from the world’s largest ever listeria outbreak, which has killed 200 people since early 2017. Retailers have removed cold meat products from their shelves in response to the deadly outbreak.

The board declared an interim dividend of 270 cents, up from 240 cents a year earlier.