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The Foschini Group's (TFG) businesses in SA and elsewhere on the continent – which include Foschini, Markham, Jet, @home, Coricraft and American Swiss – reported like-for-like turnover growth of 5.7% in the quarter to end-December compared to the previous year. Including new businesses and shops, TFG Africa's turnover growth reached 18%.
TFG London – which owns UK fashion brands like Hobbs, Phase Eight, Whistles, Damsel in a Dress and Studio 8 – reported sales growth of 2% in the past quarter compared to the previous year. TFG's fashion chain in Australia saw retail growth of almost 21% in the local currency.
Across the group, TFG's turnover grew almost 21% for the nine months to end-December.
This was thanks in part to a bumper Black Friday and Cyber Monday in SA, which delivered turnover of more than R1 billion on those two days.
Strong growth in clothing sales was supported by its South African clothing supply chain, the group said. Over recent years, TFG switched its manufacturing to South Africa, away from China, and more than 70% of its clothing sold in the African market is now produced locally.
Click here for TFG's share price and other data.
However, the group said its gross margin is 1% behind the previous year, in part due to cost pressures.
This included the cost of beating load shedding, which hit 260 000 of TFG's trading hours during the first nine months of the financial year.
TFG is the largest single buyer of Tesla's Powerwall units (rechargeable lithium-ion batteries) in the country. Some 1 455 TFG stores – representing 70% of TFGAfrica's turnover – now have backup power.
Online retail contributed 8% to TFG's group turnover.
For the nine months to end December, TFGAfrica's cash retail turnover grew by 20%, and contributed 72% to total turnover. Credit turnover increased by 5.5%, as average acceptance rates for new accounts remained "purposefully" restricted at 20.4% for the nine months to end December – from 24.5% in the previous year.
On Friday, TFG's competitor Mr Price lost almost 7% of its value after reporting a fall of 3.9% in comparable store sales for the third quarter to end-December.
Last month, TFG announced that it would buy sneaker group Street Fever – subject to regulatory approval. Some 90 of the 114 Street Fever stores will be rebranded as TFG's Sneaker Factory stores.