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South Africa’s Truworths posts 12% rise in FY profit

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

(Reuters) – South African clothing retailer Truworths International reported a 12 percent increase in full-year profit on Thursday, boosted by cash sales at its British unit Office Holdings, but falling short of estimates.

* Group retail sales for the 52-week period ended 26 June2016 increased by 46.1 percent to 17.0 billion rand ($1 billion)versus comparable period. * Headline and fully diluted headline earnings per share for52 weeks ended June 26 up 12 percent to 667 cents, but short of702 cents estimate by Thomson Reuters Smart Estimates. * Shares in Truworths down 6.7 percent at 85.34 rand by 1450GMT. * Cash sales outpaced sales on in-store credit as Britishfootwear chain Office sells only in cash and new rules in SouthAfrica hamper credit extension. * “Credit retail sales were significantly impacted by theintroduction of new affordability assessment regulations inSeptember 2015, which management estimates resulted in a loss ofbetween 200 million rand to 250 million rand in sales,” thecompany said. * Annual dividend per share up 12 percent. * “We expect the South African trading environment to remainchallenging during the 2017 financial period, with slow economicgrowth and rising inflation putting pressure on consumers,” thecompany said. * The trading environment in United Kingdom is also facedwith uncertainty after decision to withdraw from European Union,but is likely to be less uncertain as more clarity regardingBrexit emerges, the company said.


($1 = 13.3300 rand)


(Reporting by TJ Strydom; Editing by James Macharia)

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Nigerian red tape prompts South African retailer to exit

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African retailer Truworths has pulled out of its Nigerian business citing import restrictions, its chief executive said on Thursday, a sign President Muhammadu Buhari’s attempts to boost local industry are hurting foreign investment.

As well as being unable to fill its shelves, the clothing retailer said it was struggling to pay its rent and get access to foreign exchange which has dried up due to a collapse in oil prices. Nigeria is Africa’s biggest crude exporter.

“We were unable to operate the stores properly any longer because we were unable to send merchandise to the stores because there’s regulation preventing that,” Michael Mark told Reuters in telephone interview.

In an attempt to boost local manufacturing and prop up the ailing naira, Buhari has effectively banned the import of almost 700 goods, ranging from rice to toothpicks, bread and soap.

Even non-banned items are difficult to import due to dollar shortages.

Buhari won an election a year ago on promises to end a brutal Islamist insurgency in the northeast and wean Africa’s biggest economy off oil.

However, Boko Haram militants continue to launch regular attacks and economists have questioned the logic of Buhari’s shock therapy reform tactics, particularly because of the knock-on effects of the slump in oil prices.


(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Writing by Joe Brock; Editing by Ed Cropley)

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