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Shoprite first-half sales growth slows on SA weakness

Local supermarkets underperformed.
Shoprite Holdings, Africa’s largest grocer, said first-half revenue growth slowed to 8.8% from 13% a year earlier as sales at supermarkets in South Africa underperformed those elsewhere on the continent.

“After an improved second quarter driven by good festive season trading, the South African supermarket operation increased sales by 7.2%,” the Cape Town-based company said in a statement after the market closed on Tuesday. In Africa, outside of its home market, sales increased by 15%, Shoprite said.

Growth in South Africa has been under pressure as electricity shortages, plunging metal prices and a drought curbs economic growth. The price of white corn, a staple food in southern Africa that’s also known as maize, has more than doubled on the South African Futures Exchange in the past year.

Shoprite shares gained 3.4% to R132 as of the close in Johannesburg, valuing the company at R76 billion. The broader FTSE/JSE Africa Food & Drug Retailers Index increased 3%.

©2016 Bloomberg News

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