Spar’s head­line earn­ings per share in­crease

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business -

THE in­creas­ingly in­ter­na­tional Spar Group on Wed­nes­day re­ported an in­crease of 22.1 per­cent in head­line earn­ings per share for the year to the end of Septem­ber on turnover that was also up by nearly a quar­ter.

The South African-based gro­cery chain said turnover came in at R90.7 bil­lion, an in­crease of 23.8 per­cent on R73.3 bil­lion the year be­fore.

A state­ment from the com­pany added that 32 per­cent of to­tal turnover had been gen­er­ated in for­eign cur­rency dur­ing the pe­riod un­der re­view, com­pared with 23.1 per­cent the year be­fore.

Net as­set value per share had in­creased by 63.3 per­cent, from 1 922.6 cents to 3 140.1 cents.

“Spar South­ern Africa’s or­ganic growth fo­cus con­tin­ued to pay off with pos­i­tive in­di­ca­tions of mar­ket share gains across all store for­mats,” the state­ment added.

BWG Group (Spar Ire­land) had de­liv­ered “ex­cel­lent growth”, un­der­pinned by a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion from all brands and store for­mats. The state­ment added that the Londis busi­ness had been fully in­te­grated ahead of plan and was beat­ing ex­pec­ta­tions.

The ac­qui­si­tion of a ma­jor­ity stake in Spar Switzer­land, ef­fec­tive on April 1, added a third ge­o­graphic re­gion to the group’s port­fo­lio.

“Al­though the per­for­mance for this first pe­riod of con­sol­i­da­tion was dis­ap­point­ing, the group is con­fi­dent of an im­prove­ment through well-de­fined man­age­ment in­ter­ven­tions to en­hance re­tail per­for­mance and grow the busi­ness.”

Spar said the core South­ern African busi­ness had recorded turnover growth of 9.5 per­cent, which had been “un­der­pinned by ag­gres­sive pro­mo­tional and mar­ket­ing ac­tiv­ity in a highly com­pet­i­tive mar­ket”.

The Ir­ish op­er­a­tions de­liv­ered 36.8 per­cent turnover growth, bol­stered by the ac­qui­si­tion of Londis.

Turnover of Spar Switzer­land, con­sol­i­dated for the sec­ond six months, contributed R5.9 bil­lion.

Profit af­ter tax im­proved by 27.7 per­cent to R1.8 bil­lion, from R1.4 bil­lion a year be­fore, with Spar not­ing the ben­e­fit of lower ef­fec­tive tax rates in Ire­land and Switzer­land.

Head­line earn­ings per share grew by 22.1 per­cent, from 835.5 cents to 1 020 cents. The weighted av­er­age num­ber of shares had in­creased from 173.1 mil­lion to 179.7 mil­lion shares dur­ing the pe­riod un­der re­view fol­low­ing an is­sue to fund the Ir­ish and Swiss ac­qui­si­tions and to set­tle the em­pow­er­ment scheme that vested in Au­gust.

The board ap­proved a fi­nal div­i­dend of 410 cents, re­sult­ing in a to­tal an­nual div­i­dend growth of 5.2 per­cent, which was largely im­pacted by the in­creased num­ber of shares and ac­count­ing ad­just­ments in the prior year.

The group said it would main­tain its fo­cus on the growth of its South­ern African busi­ness “re­gard­less of the un­cer­tainty of both the eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal land­scape”.

It added the Ir­ish econ­omy re­mained ro­bust and the BWG Group was well­po­si­tioned to ex­tend its strong per­for­mance. The com­pany said it was also con­fi­dent about the fu­ture of the Swiss op­er­a­tions.

“Man­age­ment and the board be­lieve we will con­tinue to pros­per in our cho­sen mar­kets and de­liver value to our share­hold­ers,” the state­ment added.— African News Agency.

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