Foschini Group stocks climb over 2% on half-year results

The Foschini Group's stocks climbed over 2% on the back of its half-year results release on Thursday.

The fashion retailer's stock, which opened at R168 on Thursday, was trading ahead R165.90 ahead of the release, before climbing 2.6% to R170.22 just after.

The group's unaudited financial results for the half year-ended September 30, 2018 reflects headline earnings per share growth of 8.3% to 506c.

Headline earnings growth increased 14.3% to R1.2bn, while retail turnover increased by 28.6% to R15.9bn. Its gross margin expanded to 53.6%, compared to 51% reported last year.

An interim dividend of 330c per share was declared, up 1.5% compared to the same period last year.

Tough conditions, strong performance

"In all three of our major territories, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Australia, trading conditions remained difficult and constrained during the first half of our financial year," the group said in a statement to shareholders. However, the group reported a "good performance" in all of its territories.

For example, retail turnover in SA grew by 8.4%, London operations reported turnover growth of 50.7%, and Australian operations reported growth of 170.7%.

The group's cash to credit turnover ratio is at 72:28, with a split of 55:45 for TFG Africa.

Foschini's free cash flow for the period amounted to R998m.

During the period the group increased its outlets to 4 041, across 32 countries.

"We expect trading conditions to remain challenging in all three of our major territories as consumer spending and business confidence remain under pressure," the group said.

At 14:55 the share was trading 2.11% stronger at R170.10.

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