Revenue for the group was up 47.7 billion rand for the year ended September 2013 from 34.5 billion rand in the previous comparative year. Turnover was also up 9.8 per cent from 43.1 billion rand to 47.3 billion rand.
“The group performed solidly with a particularly encouraging second half, despite the challenging trading environment,” the group said in a statement.
“Consumers were constrained by unemployment, restricted access to credit and rising costs.”
Operating profit also increased from 1.5 billion rand in the previous comparative year to 1.6 billion rand. Profit after tax increased 12.4 per cent to 1.2 billion rand.
[DATA SPP:SPAR.] stores retail turnover increased 9.1 per cent to 58.5 billion rand from the previous year’s 53.7 billion rand. Existing stores also outperformed the market, with a turnover growth of 7.5 per cent, and supported by the group’s strong promotional activity.
20 new SPAR stores were opened, increasing retail trading space by 2.2 per cent, but not as high as last year’s 3.2 per cent increase. SPAR now has a total of 873 stores.
Retail sales for SPAR’S alcohol retail brand TOPS increased 15.9 per cent to 5.8 billion rand from 5 billion rand, with the group having opened 47 new stores. The total number of TOPS stores now sits at 582.
The group’s Build It franchise had a positive recovery in the second half of the year, with retail turnover having increased 12 per cent to 8.3 billion rand from the 17 per cent to 7.5 billion rand increase in the previous comparative year.
The franchise has also opened 20 new stores, including stores in Mozambique and Botswana. Total stores grew to 298.
“During the year, the group entered into an arrangement to pilot the SPAR Express concept with Shell. Initial results from the first store in Wadeville have been positive and the pilot will be expanded during the new financial year,” the group added.
The group’s corporate retail division, which comprises 11 stores owned and managed by the group, reported turnover of 836 million rand, up 7 per cent on the prior year.
“The group expects the trading environment to remain challenging with subdued economic growth and continued rand weakness,” the group said.
“Nevertheless, the SPAR group remains confident that the resilience of our people, our retailers and our business model will allow us to once again produce a satisfactory trading performance in 2014.”