Shoprite Holdings said customer numbers dropped but shoppers bought more per visit as Africa’s largest supermarket chain continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.
Operating profit rose 19% to R9.7 billion in the year through July 4, the Cape Town-based company said in a statement on Tuesday. Visits declined 3.8%, while the average basket spend climbed 13.6%.
Shoprite, which has put its main focus on the South African market while scaling back elsewhere on the continent, posted strong second-half sales growth as it opens more stores. The group exited Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Madagascar in recent months, either selling or discontinuing operations in those countries.
The retailer is adding to its floor space through the purchase of the food units of Walmart’s South African retailer Massmart Holdings. The grocer opened 87 local supermarkets in the year and plans to add a further 131 outlets in 2022.
The owner of chains including Checkers and U-Save increased the final dividend to R3.53, up from R2.27 a year ago. The stock has gained 28% this year, compared with a 10% gain on the FTSE/JSE Top40 Index.
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