South Africa’s Shoprite lifts full-year profit, meets forecasts


JOHANNESBURG, Aug 22 – South Africa-based Shoprite matched estimates with a 12 percent rise in annual profit on Tuesday, as consumers battling recession and job losses turned to its non-frills outlets.

Africa’s biggest grocer said diluted headline earnings per share (EPS) totalled 1,007 cents in the year ended June, compared with the average forecast of 1,002 cents from a poll of 11 analysts by Thomson Reuters’ I/B/E/S.

Headline EPS, the most widely watched profit gauge in South Africa, strips out certain one-off items.

South African retailers have struggled to lift earnings as a weak economy and jobs losses squeeze consumer income, but Shoprite has fared better than others with its focus on budget-conscious consumers, including more than 11 million South Africans on welfare grants.

Shoprite, which vies in South Africa with Pick n Pay and Wal-Mart’s South African unit Massmart, said sales increased 8.4 percent to 141 billion rand ($10.73 billion).

The firm also has outlets elsewhere in Africa, including Angola and Nigeria.

$1 = 13.1491 rand Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath, (Reuters) 

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