JOHANNESBURG May 27 (Reuters) – South Africa’s biggest apparel retailer, Mr Price Group Ltd, broadly met forecasts with a 22 percent rise in full-year profit on Tuesday as cash-strapped shoppers flocked to its no-frills stores.
Mr Price, which runs discount stores of the same name, said diluted headline earnings totalled 715.1 cents a share in the year ended March 29, largely in line with an estimate of 719 cents in a Reuters poll of 12 analysts.
Headline EPS, the main profit measure in South Africa, strips out certain one-off and non-trading items.
Retail sales rose 15 percent to 15.2 billion rand ($1.47 billion) and the company raised its annual dividend by 21 percent to 482 cents per share.
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 in recent months, has fared better because of its budget-friendly products.
Shares in the company, which are up about 8 percent so far this year, were down 0.38 percent at 167.70 rand by 1231 GMT, outpacing rivals Foschini and Truworths, which were down nearly 2 percent and more than 2.5 percent, respectively.
($1 = 10.3574 South African Rand) (Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; editing by David Dolan)