Those maiden Dis-Chem results, as we hoary old hands of the good ship JSE like to say: turnover up 14.7% to R17.3bn, with like store sales up 9.1%, and operating profit positively vertical at 24.3% to R1.1bn and retail margin increasing 0.4%. That should put the wind up Cap’n Kneale and his crew of stalwarts over at Clicks, eh? Mind, you, Dis-Chem’s got a ways to go before it has the footprint of an outfit like Clicks: just 108 stores and counting, although Mr Salzman has a plan to get that to 200 in the next two years. Being an old privateersman, and cagey about sharing his thoughts with the yellow-teethed denizens of the analysts’ pen, he’s not saying exactly how he plans to get there. Probably not greenfield growth says the analysts, so chances are Dis-Chem and Clicks will be scrapping over existing independent pharmacies for years to come. Of note also are the results of Dis-Chem’s wholesale arm, CJ Distribution, with a 22.2% increase in turnover YOY, new warehouses in Durban and Delmas and a Cape Town one currently in completion.
Comment: And with the share price up 40%, don’t we wish we’d managed to climb aboard when they listed.