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Clicks profit rises as market share gains offset consumer strain

Sales advanced 15% to R22.1 billion.

Clicks Group, a South African beauty and pharmaceutical retailer, reported full-year earnings in line with estimates as gains in market share offset sustained weakness in consumer spending.

Earnings excluding one-time items rose 14% to 383.9 cents per share, the Cape Town-based company said in a statement on Thursday. That compares with a 384.6 cents a share estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Sales advanced 15% to R22.1 billion ($1.6 billion), while the dividend was raised 24%.

“All the group’s retail brands reported real volume growth and the Clicks chain has continued to gain share of the health and beauty markets,” the company said. “Consumer spending is unlikely to improve in the short term, which will ensure that the retail trading environment remains constrained.”

South African retailers are battling with consumer confidence that remains muted as shoppers hold back on spending even as fuel prices have fallen. Unemployment of 25% and almost daily power cuts earlier this year also weighed on households.

Clicks shares have climbed 18% this year, compared with an 1.8% gain in the FTSE/JSE Africa Food & Drug Retailers Index. The share gain gives Clicks a market value of R23.5 billion rand.

©2015 Bloomberg News

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