Bourse flat but Spar helps muscle food index higher
STOCKS ended flat yesterday but food retailer Spar Group surged to a record after it reported higher full-year earnings mostly due to new acquisitions.
The Top40 index edged 0.1 percent lower to 44 935 points while the all share index was flat at 50 374.
Spar rose 8.5 percent to R145, after earlier hitting a lifetime high and helped push the JSE’s index of food retailers to the highest in a year.
Despite the gains, concerns remain about the strength of local consumer spending as shoppers struggle with debt and unemployment.
“Retail is a difficult space to see companies really shoot the lights out in terms of earnings right now,” said Julian Masson from Pan-African Asset Management.
Data yesterday showed retail sales in September remained lacklustre.
Retailer Shoprite said it would take over the leases of some stores run by 45-year-old furniture retailer Ellerines, which is being forced to close down. Shoprite rose 1.42 per- cent to R169.40.
Lewis Group is buying the Beares brand from Ellerines. The Competition Commission said yesterday that no staff could be fired as a result of the acquisition and it must offer job opportunities to the employees made redundant by Ellerines at the Beares shops,. Lewis’s share price rose 4.07 percent to R67.70.
Retailer Foschini’s shares added 4.1 percent to R 132 to the highest level since January 2013 after Credit Suisse. raised the group to outperform versus neutral.
Leading the decliners was e-commerce firm Naspers, which was hit after China’s Tencent – in which Naspers owns about a third – reported its slowest revenue growth in 7 years. Napers shares fell 1.84 percent to R1 374.52.