[DATA ITE:Italtile Limited] is a franchisor and retailer of local and imported tiles, sanitary ware, bath ware, laminated flooring and other related home-finishing products.
(READ MORE: Italtile reports buoyant renovations market)
The group’s trading profit for the six months ended 31 December 2014 from continuing operations rose 21 per cent to 459 million rand with an interim gross cash dividend of 12 cents per share, an increase of 33 per cent.
The company attributed the improved performance to the continued implementation of the group’s business optimisation programme in key areas including IT systems, human resources management, supply chain and in-store efficiencies, to enhance the customer shopping experience.
The group said the devaluation of the rand and freight capacity constraints experienced during the period impacted negatively on industry participants, resulting in reduction in stock holdings and emergence of range gaps, both in price and style.
“In the context of constrained discretionary income and cautious consumer sentiment, activity in the residential building and construction sector remained generally subdued, although the renovations market displayed resilience,” added the group in a statement.
The company reported system-wide turnover from continuing operations having surged 19 per cent to 2.72 billion rand from 2.30 billion rand in 2013, while same store revenue improved 18 per cent.
The group has expressed worry about the trading conditions going forward.
“Management does not foresee a notable improvement in the economy in the short term and anticipates trading conditions to remain consistent with recent prior years,” said the group.
“In the current environment, homeowners will remain cautious in their investment decisions and the allocation of discretionary spends.”