Retailer Truworths International said on Friday its profit for the half year ended December 27 will likely fall by between 4% and 9% as its operations across the UK and South Africa were hit by weak spending as people stayed indoors.
The South Africa-listed clothing, shoes, jewellery and homeware retailer said its overall headline earnings per share – the main profit measure in the country – for the 26-week period ended December 27 will be between 332 and 350 cents as against 364.9 cents reported in the corresponding period last year.
Both South Africa and the U.K. are currently amongst the worst hit coronavirus destinations, especially due to a new, more contagious variant that has led to a sharp spike in cases.
While South Africa has allowed trading of business, its has asked citizens to stay indoors to curb the spread of the virus.
In U.K. new cases have forced the country into a more stricter third lockdown which is likely to push the world’s sixth-biggest economy into a double-dip recession.
“In the UK, trading conditions have been exceptionally challenging,” Truworths said, and added that in South Africa consumer spending continues to be subdued due to an ongoing economic crisis in the country.
Group retail sales for the period decreased by 8.5% to R9.7 billion compared with R10.6 billion reported same period a year ago, it said.