Truworths sees higher full-year profit, sales up

South Africa’s biggest listed apparel retailer, Truworths, expects to report a 10% to 13% rise in full-year headline earnings per share, helped by price increases and new stores.

Truworths, which runs chain stores of the same name, said on Friday sales rose 10,5% to R7,1-billion after increasing prices by an average of 4% and adding trading space by 6%.

Same store sales were up 4%, reflecting a tentative recovery in consumer spending after last year’s recession wiped out nearly a million jobs and left many in debt.

The Cape Town-based company, which sells about 70% of its products on credit, said its debtors’ book improved in line with expectations.

Retailers in Africa’s biggest economy, which emerged from a recession in the third quarter of last year, have been squeezed as their customers battle with unemployment and high debt.

But a series of interest-rate cuts and gradual economic growth has prompted some to make upbeat calls about this year’s demand.

South African retail sales rose more than expected in May, growing for the fifth month in a row ahead of the soccer World Cup. — Reuters

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