Mr Price has Nigeria in its growth plan
Business Day - Nov 16th 2011, 08:39
Angola, Ghana are next says retailer as sales rise 10,7%
Fashion retail chain Mr Price Group will open its first store in Nigeria in March and will continue the rollout of its new- generation stores in SA, the group said in its interim results for the 26 weeks ended October 1, which were released yesterday.
The owner of Miladys, Sheet Street and Mr Price Home said it would continue to pursue space expansion opportunities.
In May, CEO Stuart Bird said the group would focus on the "internationalisation" of its business. "We will be aggressively looking for space here and are looking at two sites in Nigeria as possible stores; next will be Angola and Ghana."
Mr Price’s overall retail sales increased 10,7% to R5,3bn compared to its first half last year. Excluding new shops, sales in like- for-like locations were up by 9,6%. "Sales growth was impacted by the high base set by the extended school holidays associated with the Fifa World Cup 2010, which took place in June and July last year. Excluding these two months sales growth amounted to 14,3%," Mr Bird said.
The Apparel chains increased sales and other income 11,2% to R3,9bn with comparable sales up by 8,8% and retail selling price inflation of 5,1%. Mr Price Apparel recorded sales growth of 11,2% to R2,9bn which made up 55,7% of group sales.
Mr Price Sport opened four new stores which contributed to sales increasing 20,5% to R293,6m, while Miladys increased sales 6,4% to R514,7m despite closing a net six stores, the company said.
"Comparable sales growth was 9,4% which, together with excellent cost control, resulted in a significant increase in operating profit," it said.
The Home chains increased sales and other income 9,7% to R1,5bn with comparable sales up 11,5% and retail selling price inflation of 6,6%. Mr Price Home increased sales 7,8% to R1bn.
In comparison, competitor Truworths International said its retail sales for the first 19 weeks of the 2012 financial year had increased 9,3% to R3bn. The Foschini Group said turnover rose 18,5% to R5,4bn in the six months ended September. It declared an interim dividend of 190c per share, an increase of 37,7%.
Mr Price increased its dividend 22% to 93,6c a share.
"We expect trading conditions to remain tough, but are encouraged by positive October sales growth," Mr Bird said.
"This augurs well for the festive season."
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