South Africa’s largest grocery retailer Shoprite on Monday reported a 9.3% rise in its first quarter sales, helped by robust trading in its supermarkets in South Africa.
By 0734 GMT, shares were up 4.65% at R193.61.
Shoprite, which has more than 2 800 stores in 13 African countries, also said its supermarkets division in South Africa was on track to open the planned 131 new stores in the current financial year, which began on July 1.
That division, the group’s core business, increased sales by 11.6% despite civil unrest in July, during which 135 supermarkets and 54 liquor shops were severely impacted due to looting and arson attacks.
Shoprite estimates the book value of the damage to property, fixtures and fittings, stock and fleet at around R1.25 billion ($81.74 million).
Shoprite has cover in place from the South African Special Risks Insurance Association to the value of R1.5 billion and has to date received an initial R500 million payment, it said.
Its supermarkets in the rest of Africa, notably Zambia, increased sales by 1.9%.
Growth in constant currency however “continues to be eroded on translation into the group’s reporting currency, the rand, but nonetheless a return to rand based growth, albeit at a low level, is positive,” Shoprite added.
The furniture unit’s sales declined by 10.5% during the quarter, in part a result of the high sales growth base created over this period last year when sales increased by 20.6% as shoppers reinvested in their homes. The business was also impacted by the civil unrest.
Looking ahead to the festive trading season, Shoprite said it can confirm that the group is well positioned and adequately stocked across the board, amid global supply chain disruptions.