Mr Price lifts H1 profit, shares rise

Mr Price lifts H1 profit, shares rise

South Africa’s biggest listed clothes retailer Mr Price Ltd reported a 16.6 percent rise in half-year profit as cash-strapped consumers flocked to its no-frills stores.

Mr Price, which runs discount stores of the same name, said diluted headline earnings totalled 406.8 cents per share in the six months to the end of September compared with 349 cents a year earlier.

Headline EPS, a widely watched measure of profit in South Africa, strips out certain one off items.

Shares in the Durban-based company rose 3.51 percent to 206.50 rand, outpacing 1 percent fall in the JSE All-share index.

Sales rose 8.6 percent to 8.5 billion rand ($598 million).

South Africa’s retail sales grew 2.7 percent year-on-year in September, well below a 4.1 percent estimate in a Reuters poll, official data showed on Wednesday.

“The economy is not in good shape and consumer confidence is

understandably low, but our resilient fashion value model is built to withstand these conditions,” said company Chief Executive Stuart Bird.

South African retailers have been squeezed in recent years as their consumers battle with high personal debt, rising fuel and electricity prices and high unemployment.

But Mr Price, whose market value has shot past its nearest rivals Foschini Group and Truworths last year, has fared better because of its low-cost products.

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