Foschini Profit Climbs 13 Percent as Holiday Spending Subdued

The Foschini Group Ltd. (TFG), a South African clothing retailer, said full-year profit rose 13 percent as consumer spending in Africa’s biggest economy remained muted over the Christmas period.

Net income for the 12 months through March was 1.79 billion rand ($179 million), compared with 1.58 billion rand a year earlier, the Cape Town-based company said in a statement today. Earnings per share excluding one-time items rose 11 percent to 8.59 rand, missing the 8.71-rand median estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

“Trading conditions became significantly more challenging in the second half. This was particularly evident over the key trading months of November and December,” the company said. “It became apparent that the discretionary categories of jewelery and cellphones were not the items of choice for consumers over the festive season.”

South African retail sales growth slowed to 2.8 percent in March from 3.9 percent in February as inflation remained close to the top of the central bank’s target and a 25 percent jobless rate hurt consumer spending. The economy grew 0.9 percent in the first quarter, the slowest rate since the 2009 recession.

Foshcini shares gained 1.7 percent to 109.91 rand by 2:38 p.m. in Johannesburg. The stock is down 22 percent this year.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net

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