Retailers Rally as Mr Price Boosts Earnings: Johannesburg Mover

South African retailers climbed to the highest in a week after Mr Price Group Ltd. (MPC), a clothing, furniture and linen retailer, said full-year earnings rose by more than 20 percent.

The 10-member FTSE/JSE Africa General Retailers Index (JGENR) rallied 3 percent to 62,705.3 by 1:06 p.m. in Johannesburg, the highest on an intraday basis since April 3. The gauge had slumped 3.2 percent in the prior five days. Woolworths Holdings Ltd. (WHL), which sells food and clothing, led gains with a 4.2 percent advance, heading for its biggest rise in more than seven months.

“The Mr Price announcement today surprised on the upside and after a lot of bad news for retailers, this is being welcomed,” Henre Herselman, a derivatives trader at Nedbank Group Ltd.’s BoE Stockbrokers in Johannesburg, said by phone. “Woolworths, with its food and clothing offering, benefits from diversification and is one of the stronger stocks in the sector.”

Mr Price added 3.5 percent and Truworths International Ltd. (TRU), South Africa’s biggest clothing retailer by market value, climbed 2.7 percent.

Earnings per share adjusted for one-time items in the 52 weeks ended March 30 rose by at least 20 percent, Durban-based Mr Price said today in a statement.

South African consumer confidence slumped to a nine-year low in the first quarter as slower economic growth, job losses and higher inflation curbed households’ finances, First National Bank and the Bureau for Economic Research said in a statement yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Janice Kew in Johannesburg at jkew4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Emily Bowers at ebowers1@bloomberg.net

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