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Spar of South Africa Full-Year Profit Gains on Promotions

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Nov. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Spar Group Ltd., a South African food and liquor retailer, said full-year profit gained 12 percent as it offered more promotions and increased sales of alcoholic drinks.

Net income rose to 1.19 billion rand ($115 million) in the 12 months through September from 1.06 billion rand a year earlier, the Durban-based company said in statement today. Sales increased 9.8 percent to 47.4 billion rand. Spar declared a full-year dividend of 4.85 rand a share, 13 percent higher than in 2012.

Revenue growth was “underpinned by strong promotional activity,” while sales at Tops, Spar’s liquor unit, grew 16 percent to 5.8 billion rand, the company said. Spar opened 47 Tops stores during the year, bringing the total to 582 outlets.

Consumer confidence in Africa’s largest economy dropped to a 10-year low in the third quarter as inflationary pressures curbed spending and demand for credit. Spar anticipates the “trading environment to remain challenging with subdued economic growth and continued rand weakness,” it said.

Spar’s shares have declined 7.5 percent this year, compared with an 11 percent fall on the FTSE/JSE Africa Food & Drug Retailers Index. The rand has weakened 18 percent against the dollar this year, the worst performer of 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

The company said yesterday that Chief Executive Officer Wayne Hook will step down after his wife was diagnosed with an undisclosed life-threatening illness.

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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