'Very good year' for Pick 'n Pay, earnings per share up 18%

Pick 'n Pay delivered an "exceptional performance" over the past year, according to Chairman Gareth Ackerman, with headline earnings per share up 18%.

The retailer published its annual financial results for the year ending 3 March 2019 on Friday morning. 

It declared a total annual dividend of 231.0 cents per share, up 22.4%, which amounted to over R1bn for shareholders.

Profit before tax was up 17.3%, with the PBT margin improving from 2.2% to 2.4%.

Ackerman said the results were driven primarily by strong performance in South Africa, which comprises the Pick 'n Pay and Boxer brands, while there were "operating challenges" outside local borders.

Earnings from the Rest of Africa division fell 16.2%, while the core SA division delivered turnover growth of 7.4%.

Value-added services

Notable developments were in Pick 'n Pay's value-added services. Value added services income was up 41.5% year-on-year, including a new partnership with billionaire Patrice Motsepe's TymeBank, which has opened over 250 000 new accounts in Pick 'n Pay stores in the space of three months.

"Our new banking partnership with TymeBank has given customers another reason to shop with Pick n Pay and Boxer," said Ackerman.

The Smart Shopper loyalty card is up to 7.2 million active members and offered R6.6bn in personalised discounts last year, with redemptions up almost 30%, Pick 'n Pay said.

The Smart Shopper partnership launched with BP, offering Smart Shopper points on fuel purchases, had also serviced over a million people to date, said the retailer.

The company's long-term growth strategy delivered compound annual earnings growth of 23.7% over six years, it added.

"Over the past six years we have changed the trajectory of Pick n Pay. This has been a very good year, and there is more to come in 2019 and beyond," said Ackerman.

In a separate statement, the group also announced the retirement of its Chief Finance Officer, Aboubakar Jakoet. Jakoet will be staying on until his successor has been appointed, which the board is finalising, Pick 'n Pay said. 

The retailer praised Jakoet's "dedication, diligence and commitment" throughout his 34-year career.

He will continue to serve on the board in a non-executive capacity.

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