NICK BADMINTON, CEO of supermarket chain Pick n Pay, says he has bullish plans for the group over the next two years. Hopefully, that will put the retailer back on the map after an “exceptionally tough” 2010 financial year – putting it behind its major rivals over the period. In the year to February, Pick n Pay reported 1,1% growth in headline earnings per share to 236,33c, while revenue was up 9,8% at R54,7bn. Poor trading in the group’s second half, increases in electricity costs and the December workers’ strike were cited as some of the reasons.
Among other things, Pick n Pay plans to open 120 new stores over its next two financial years – including the conversion of 50 BP forecourt outlets into Pick n Pay Express. The group is also tapping into “exciting opportunities” in Africa – though still conservative. But perhaps the most interesting development to watch will be its strategic review of its Australian operations. Pick n Pay has been battling to get its Franklins subsidiary into a good long-term investment – and analysts have suggested the business isn’t really worth keeping, given its ongoing difficulties.