Expressed aim

Finweek English Edition - - Companies & Markets -

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.

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