Shoprite Quarterly Growth Slows on Weaker South African Sales

Shoprite Holdings Ltd. (SHP), South Africa’s largest retailer, said first-quarter sales growth slowed from a year earlier as disposable incomes shrank.

Sales in the three months to Sept. rose 10 percent, compared with an increase of 16 percent in the first quarter last year. Growth was higher than in the three months to June, Shoprite said in a statement today.

First-quarter revenue at the company’s core domestic operations increased 8.3 percent, compared with growth of 12.2 percent in the same period a year earlier, as “local market conditions worsened and South African consumers came under increasing pressure,” Cape Town-based Shoprite said.

South African consumer confidence reached a 10-year low in the three months through September as inflation pressures curbed spending and demand for credit.

In its non-domestic African unit, sales gained 16 percent, compared with 26 percent in the previous year, Shoprite said, without quantifying the sales. The grocer opened 14 new shops outside South Africa in the quarter. The company plans to open 46 supermarkets before the end of December.

Trading has been very good for the month of October so far, Chairman Christo Wiese told the company’s annual general meeting. The company plans to open 46 supermarkets before the end of December.

Shoprite shares rose 0.8 percent to 182.25 rand at 10 a.m. in Johannesburg.

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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