Truworths produces stable results in challenging environment

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The group, which consists of Truworths, Identity, Young Designers Emporium and Uzzi, posted an increase of 7.1 in retail sales to 5.9 billion rand and comparable store retail sales grew  percent by 1.1 percent for the period.

Group sale of merchandise rose 7.4 percent from 5.4 billion rand to 5.8 billion rand with trading space increasing 10.7 percent following the opening of 38 new stores across the group.

The group currently has 629 stores, including 40 stores in other parts of Africa.

Gross margin decreased 56.3 percent due to increased markdowns, which resulted in their operating margin decreasing to 33.8 percent.

 Operating profit remained unchanged at 1.9 billion rand while headline earnings per share increased 1.4 percent to 335.8 cents.

A dividend increase of 6 percent was reported at 216 cents per share.

“The trading environment is expected to remain challenging for the balance of the 2014 financial period. Management will continue to focus on expense control, interventions to manage the risk of credit and the application of merchandise strategies to meet the fashion expectations of our target market,” said the company in a statement.