Sho­prite be­gins process of pulling out of Nige­ria

Chain made de­ci­sion af­ter a re-eval­u­a­tion and be­ing ap­proached by po­ten­tial in­vestors

Cape Argus - - MONEY -

AFRICA’S largest food re­tailer, Sho­prite, said yes­ter­day that it had de­cided to ini­ti­ate a for­mal process to con­sider the po­ten­tial sale of all (or a ma­jor­ity stake in) of its sub­sidiary, Re­tail Su­per­mar­kets Nige­ria.

In a trad­ing up­date, Sho­prite said it had made the de­ci­sion fol­low­ing ap­proaches from var­i­ous po­ten­tial in­vestors, and in line with its re-eval­u­a­tion of the group’s op­er­at­ing model in the West African coun­try.

Any fur­ther up­dates would be pro­vided to the mar­ket at the ap­pro­pri­ate time, it added.

The re­tailer, which op­er­ates more than 2 900 out­lets in 15 coun­tries across Africa and the In­dian Ocean is­lands, said it had in­creased to­tal sale of mer­chan­dise for the 52 weeks to June by 6.4 per­cent to about R156.9 bil­lion de­spite dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances.

Sales growth of 8.7 per­cent in its main South African su­per­mar­kets divi­sion was un­der­pinned by a strong sec­ond half.

As a re­sult of a lock­down im­posed by the gov­ern­ment from late March to curb the trans­mis­sions of Covid-19, cus­tomer vis­its for the year de­clined by 7.4 per­cent, but av­er­age bas­ket spend­ing in­creased by 18.4 per­cent.

“Su­perb ex­e­cu­tion across the busi­ness, cou­pled with con­sid­er­able ef­forts from our sup­pli­ers, re­sulted in vol­ume growth of 2.3 per­cent for the year. Mar­ket share fig­ures in­so­far as they are avail­able… re­flect con­sec­u­tive monthly mar­ket share gains for the past 15 months,” the re­tail group’s state­ment said.

It said in equally if not more dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances re­sult­ing from Covid-19 lock­down reg­u­la­tions, its non-South African su­per­mar­kets unit re­ported an over­all de­cline in sales of 1.4 per­cent for the year.

Sho­prite said it had in­curred Covid-19-re­lated costs per­tain­ing to com­pli­ance with the na­tional lock­down reg­u­la­tions, to­gether with manag­ing and pro­tect­ing its em­ploy­ees, cus­tomers, stores, in­ven­tory and dis­tri­bu­tion in­fra­struc­ture.

Net costs amounted to R327.2 mil­lion spent across the ar­eas of health and safety, se­cu­rity, mo­bile clin­ics, per­sonal pro­tec­tive equip­ment, tem­per­a­ture scan­ners, store and dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tre san­i­ta­tion, em­ployee meals, com­mu­ni­ca­tion costs and re­mote net­work ac­cess for em­ploy­ees.

“The most sig­nif­i­cant spend per­tained to R116.9m paid to our em­ploy­ees, in­clu­sive of an ap­pre­ci­a­tion bonus to as­sist them with the dif­fi­cul­ties we an­tic­i­pated would ac­com­pany the na­tion­wide lock­down,” the com­pany added.

African News Agency (ANA)

SHO­PRITE says it in­creased to­tal sales of mer­chan­dise for the 52 weeks to June by 6.4 per­cent. |

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