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Mr Price Leads Clothing Retailers Lower as Sales Lag Inflation

Mr Price Group Ltd. (MPC), a South African clothing and household goods retailer, led declines among clothing retailers after reporting quarterly same-store sales growth lower than the rise in the price of its products.

Mr Price fell as much as 2.8 percent, the biggest intraday fall in more than two months, and traded 2.2 percent lower at 159.50 rand as of 2:49 p.m. in Johannesburg. Truworths International Ltd. (TRU) declined as much as 3.2 percent, while The Foschini Group Ltd. slid 1.8 percent.

Comparable-store sales at Mr Price increased 10.5 percent in the three months through December, compared with selling price inflation of 10.8 percent, the Durban-based company said in a statement today. The clothing division, which accounts for almost 75 percent of sales, rose 12.3 percent, while the home unit had same-store sales of 5.5 percent.

“The slow growth in the apparel division and negative growth in its home is disappointing,” Alec Abraham, an analyst at Afrifocus Securities in Johannesburg, said by phone. “Trading updates from Truworths and Foschini are still expected and these shares are falling in response to what Mr Price’s update today says about the outlook.”

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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