Massmart sales growth slows
IOL Business - Jul 12th, 10:12
Johannesburg - Massmart, South Africa’s biggest food and goods wholesaler, said sales growth slowed during the first half of the year amid a downturn in consumer spending.
The company, in which Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores has a controlling stake, said comparable or same-store sales climbed 5.5 percent in the 26 weeks through June 23, compared with a 7.3 percent rise in the half year through December 23.
Inflation for the period was estimated at 2.9 percent, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement.
Total sales advanced 8.9 percent to 32.3 billion rand ($3.2 billion).
South African retail-sales growth slowed to 1.9 percent in April, a six-month low, as slower economic growth and rising joblessness curbed consumer spending.
The unemployment rate climbed to 25.2 percent in the first quarter from 24.9 percent in the previous three months, as the labor force expanded and the retail, finance and construction industries cut jobs.
The economy grew at its slowest pace since a 2009 recession in the first quarter.
Massmart, which owns the cash and carry chain Makro and DIY specialist Builders Warehouse, rose 0.5 percent to 172.48 rand by 3:42 p.m. in Johannesburg.
More than 144,000 shares traded, or 32 percent of the three-month daily average.
The company will release full financial results for the period on August 22. - Bloomberg News © Independent On-line 2013. All rights reserved
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