Shoprite blames deflation for disappointing growth

Johannesburg - Shoprite [JSE:SHP] announced subdued growth on Tuesday, blaming deflation for its lacklustre performance.

The group increased its turnover by 6.3% for the six months to December 2017 - less than half of the 14% achieved in the same period in 2016.

CEO Pieter Engelbrecht said overall internal price deflation occurred in the last quarter, and that the slowdown in turnover growth should be viewed in the context of average grocery price inflation decelerating to 0.4% during the reporting period. It was 7.4% in the corresponding period.

Supermarkets RSA, Shoprite’s primary business, increased sales by 7.8% during a period when internal inflation fell to 0.4% for the six months compared to 7.4% in the previous corresponding period, driven mainly by a drop in the price of basic commodity items.

Shoprite said economic and trading conditions in its foreign markets remained unchanged, and as a result the group’s non-South African supermarket operating segment reported a 0.4% drop in rand terms.

The impact of lower commodity prices and the depreciation of local currencies remained prevalent in the larger economies it operates in outside South Africa, the group stated.

Shoprite’s furniture division reported increased sales of 10.8% while other operating segments, mainly driven by the OK Franchise division’s performance, saw 6.7% growth.

Engelbrecht said this was pleasing given low internal price inflation, and was in line with the group’s South African supermarket performance.

Shoprite’s interim results are scheduled for release on February 27.

Shares in Shoprite were trading at R214.54, up 0.72%, on the JSE shortly before 14:00.

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