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Shoprite Slides as Full-Year South Africa Sales Growth Slows

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July 16 (Bloomberg) -- Shoprite Holdings Ltd., South Africa’s largest food retailer, fell the most in six months as second-half sales slowed amid weaker consumer spending in its domestic market.

Total sales growth declined to 10.4 percent in the six months through June, compared with 13.8 percent in the previous half-year period, the Cape Town-based company said in a statement today.

“The growing pressure on consumers’ disposable income reflects in the slow-down in sales in the South African supermarket division,” Shoprite said. Full-year revenue growth at the domestic unit weakened to 9.8 percent compared with 12.9 percent for the same period a year ago.

South African retail-sales growth slowed to 1.9 percent in April, a six-month low, as flagging economic growth and rising joblessness curbed consumer spending. The unemployment rate climbed to 25.2 percent in the first quarter from 24.9 percent in the previous three months, as the labor force expanded and the retail, finance and construction industries cut jobs.

Massmart Holdings Ltd., the South African retailer controlled by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., also said July 9 that sales growth slowed during the first half of the year amid a downturn in consumer spending.

Shoprite shares fell 4.8 percent to 182 rand by the close in Johannesburg. Massmart dropped 4.3 percent, while Woolworths Holdings Ltd., a food and clothing retailer, slid 3.4 percent.

Revenue from Shoprite’s operations outside its primary South Africa market increased by 28 percent compared to the year earlier period, the company said.

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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