S.African retailer Mr Price annual earnings jump on rebound from COVID lows

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -South African retailer Mr Price Group Ltd posted a 20.1% jump in full-year earnings on Thursday, as consumers coming out of the COVID-19 lockdowns revamped their wardrobes and homes, with acquisitions adding a boost.

The largely budget clothing and homeware retailer has benefited from its lower-price model, which continues to attract financially constrained consumers seeking value.

Mr Price said headline earnings per share, the main profit measure in South Africa, rose to 1,282.1 cents in the 52 weeks ended April 2, up from 1,067.9 cents a year ago.

Total revenue increased 23% to 28.1 billion rand ($1.84 billion), with retail sales up 26% to 26.7 billion rand, despite the civil unrest in July last year, which resulted in the looting of 111 of the group’s 1,592 stores.

Mr Price’s clothing division grew its sales by 30.9%, supported by a stronger second half as all divisions reported their highest fourth quarter market share level on record, the retailer said. 

The homeware division continued its growth momentum, with sales and other income surging 15.6%, although home decoration by consumers has slowed down from the high base of 2020.

Its sales were additionally supported by the inclusion of recently acquired budget clothing retailer Power Fashion and upmarket kitchenware and homeware retailer Yuppiechef.

Online sales grew 48.2%, now contributing 2.9% to retail sales.

Mr Price declared a final dividend of 807.7 cents, up 25.9%.

($1 = 15.2662 rand)

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