SPAR’s turnover increased 19.5% to R32 billions for the year ending September 30, while trading profit was up 25%. But as SPAR point out, it has been a year of two halves – the friendly, buxom first half when inflation was running at 16% and turnover was up 24.5%, and the skinny, mean-spirited second half when it increased only 14.9%, which is actually not too bad in these testing times, and may be attributed in part to the reduced price of petrol. Upgrades to various DCs haven’t hurt either, with SPAR dropping R145bar finishing off the KZN perishables outfit and R104 million on the final phase of the South Rand expansion. The rural location of many SPAR stores continues to do the right thing by turnover as the government social grants programme presses on, and expansion into Mozambique is now on the cards. On the downside, some Build It owners have been squeezed somewhat in the downturn, with SPAR making net provisions of bad debt to the tune of R890 million, 50% up from last year.
Comment: Still jolly, still green. And as we never tire of saying, that turnover is only out of the DCs, or so we’re told.