TFG posts strong per­for­mance in Aus­tralia

Group chief says cloth­ing turnover spear­headed growth as coun­try’s econ­omy pre­dicted to con­tinue grow­ing

The Mercury - - BUSINESS REPORT - DI­NEO FAKU di­neo.faku@inl.co.za

THE FOSCHINI Group (TFG) yes­ter­day posted a strong per­for­mance from its Aus­tralian mar­ket with group turnover in the six months ended Septem­ber ris­ing to nearly R16 bil­lion.

An­thony Thun­ström, the newly ap­pointed chief ex­ec­u­tive of the cloth­ing and home­ware group, said re­tail turnover jumped 28.6 per­cent to R15.9bn dur­ing the pe­riod with the Aus­tralian mar­ket soar­ing 170.7 per­cent.

Thun­ström said turnover growth in Africa jumped 8.4 per­cent and was 50.7 per­cent stronger in TFG Lon­don.

He said the group, how­ever, ex­pected head­winds in the fu­ture.

“We ex­pect trad­ing con­di­tions to re­main chal­leng­ing in all three of our ma­jor ter­ri­to­ries, as con­sumer spend­ing and busi­ness con­fi­dence re­main un­der pres­sure,” Thun­ström said.

TFG, which owns Markham, Foschini, Amer­i­can Swiss and To­tal­sports, en­tered the Aus­tralian mar­ket last year when it ac­quired menswear chain Re­tail Ap­parel Group for A$302.5 mil­lion (about R3.07bn).

Its com­peti­tor Wool­worths also built a port­fo­lio in Aus­tralia af­ter ac­quir­ing David Jones, but has since dumped the brand af­ter post­ing losses dur­ing the 2018 fi­nan­cial year.

TFG said it had to con­tend with South Africa’s tech­ni­cal re­ces­sion, high un­em­ploy­ment and a VAT hike, which con­strained con­sumer spend­ing dur­ing the pe­riod.

Global rat­ing agency Stan­dard & Poor said Bri­tain would suf­fer ris­ing un­em­ploy­ment and fall­ing house­hold in­comes that would trig­ger a re­ces­sion should the coun­try fail to se­cure a deal that would pre­vent the coun­try from crash­ing out of the EU.

The Re­serve Bank of Aus­tralia said this week that the econ­omy of that coun­try was ex­pected to con­tinue to

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