Spar and Mr Price* both released greatlooking trading updates that really cause us to question the theory that the consumer is struggling. Or perhaps it is just that these two companies are really very good at what they do. They’re both looking for increases in HEPS of above 20% – great numbers – and it’s difficult to tel l i f t his is t he result of great management or whether consumers are not as pressured as everybody says they are. Mr Price is now on a forward P/E of some 25 times and Spar around 20 times. Neither is cheap and, regardless of how the consumer is faring, with management of the highest order one has to pay higher prices.