Truworths Slides Most in Three Months as Sales Growth Slows

Truworths International Ltd. (TRU), South Africa’s largest listed clothing retailer, fell the most in more than three months as inflationary pressure curbed consumer spending and slowed its sales growth.

The stock slid as much as 6.3 percent to 86.65 rand and traded 5.9 percent lower at 12:49 p.m in Johannesburg. About 3 million shares traded, twice the three-month daily average. Truworths was the worst performer on the 11-member FTSE/JSE Africa General Retailers Index today.

South African consumer confidence reached a 10-year low in the three months through September as inflationary pressures curbed spending and demand for credit. Truworths sales for the 18 weeks through Nov. 3 rose 7 percent to 3.5 billion rand ($341 million), compared with a 15.9 percent increase a year earlier, the Cape Town-based company said today in a statement. Credit sales accounted for 71 percent of revenue, with like-for-like store sales rising 2 percent.

“It’s becoming increasingly difficult for credit retailers,” Roger Tejwani, a retail analyst at NOAH Capital Markets, who has a sell recommendation on Truworths, said by phone from Cape Town. “Their debtor costs have grown and they are facing increasing competition from international brands.”

Truworths shares have dropped 20 percent this year compared with a 9.4 percent decline in the retailers’ gauge. The FTSE/JSE Africa All-Share Index (JALSH) has rallied 17 percent.

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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