Mr Price Jumps as Earnings Growth Counters Industry Slump

Mr Price Group Ltd., a South African retailer that sells most of its clothing and housewares for cash, rose to a five-week high after reporting first-half earnings gains that ran counter to a consumer-spending slump.

Mr Price shares increased 4 percent to 217.08 rand by the close in Johannesburg, the highest since Sept. 18. The stock has jumped 33 percent this year, the best performance among South African retailers.

Earnings excluding one-time items in the six months through Sept. 27 climbed as much as 24 percent to 378.2 cents a share, the Durban-based company said in a statement today. That compares with net income that was little changed in the year through June 29 at competitor Truworths International Ltd.

Nationwide retail-industry sales were unchanged in June, the worst performance since December 2009, and the South African Reserve Bank has raised its benchmark interest rate twice this year.

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