Spar first-half profit up, sees World Cup growth

South African grocery chain Spar Group reported a 14,7% rise in first-half profit and said full-year results would be boosted by the upcoming Soccer World Cup.

Spar, which runs grocery, liquor and building merchandise stores, said headline earnings per share rose to 278,1 cents for the six months to end-March.

South African retailers face tough business conditions as job losses and high debt erode consumer spending.

Sales rose nearly 9% to R17,51-billion.

Spar declared an interim dividend of 140 cents per share, up about 15% on the previous year.

The grocery chain said it expects tough conditions to continue, but said earnings would benefit from positive sentiment generated by the Soccer World Cup.

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