Those Shoprite results after which you’ve been hankering, and we’ll give you the bad news upfront, as succinctly put by one of our own erstwhile analysts: “A moderate performance from SA’s seemingly unshakeable retail giant, in a period of near zero internal inflation combined with ongoing cost pressures, resulting in an increase in Group turnover of just +3.1%, to R145.3bn.” Stern words. Perhaps more worryingly, trading profit declined by-1.4% to R8bn, which the business attributed predominantly to increasing costs associated with new stores leases, store refurbs, systems and other future investment expenditures. On the upside, the business grew its share of the South African formal retail market to 31.7%, due, they say, to the success Checkers is enjoying at the upper end. They also opened a net 124 new corporate stores, which is not to be sneezed at. And if you were privileged, as we were, to attend the results presentation, you would have been as impressed as we were by the innovation on offer – in private label, sustainability and shopper marketing, to name but three areas.
Comment: We’ll give the last word to CEO Pieter Engelbrecht. Mr E? “This has been a very tough year – the toughest I can recall. I am proud of what has been delivered under very trying circumstances.”