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Foschini Says Christmas Sales Grew Faster Than 2013 on Clothing

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Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The Foschini Group Ltd. said December revenue grew faster compared with a year earlier as the South African retailer sold more women’s clothing.

Sales increased 11.4 percent in the four weeks ending Dec. 28, while same-store revenue gained 5.3 percent, the Cape Town-based company said in a statement today. That compares with growth of 10.5 percent in the same period a year ago.

“Christmas trading was satisfactory and in line with expectation across all merchandise categories,” the company said. Clothing sales rose 11.9 percent, beating growth of homewares, cosmetics and jewellrey.

South African retailers struggled last year as rising prices and unemployment pushed consumer confidence to the lowest level in a decade. The Reserve Bank has kept the benchmark repurchase rate unchanged at a 30-year low in an effort to boost spending.

Foschini shares fell 0.2 percent to 96.45 rand by 10:16 a.m. in Johannesburg, outperforming larger competitor Truworths International Ltd., which was down 3 percent.

Truworths said yesterday its sales rose 7.1 percent in the half year to Dec. 29, compared with 14.8 percent growth in the same period a year earlier.

To contact the reporter on this story: John Bowker in Johannesburg at jbowker2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Risser at drisser@bloomberg.net

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