SOUTH AFRICA – Africa’s largest supermarket group Shoprite has reported solid sales for the past six months ended January 2, 2022, with growth of 10% to R91 billion (US$5.9 billion).
In an operational update, the retailer indicated that excluding the impact of the temporary closure of the Supermarkets RSA LiquorShop business due to COVID-19 lockdown regulations, the group increased total sales by 8.2%.
It is noteworthy that its group LiquorShop business increased sales by 49.8% as the period reported reduced number of closure day from 79 in the prior year’s comparative period to 48 days.
Overall, the group’s positive performance was supported by the continuing good performance of its core South African operations which achieved 11.3% sales growth during the period.
Shoprite was able to achieve this growth despite the impact of the civil unrest last July having an impact on 231 of its stores and costing the company about R1.2 billion (US$78m) in damages which were most covered by insurance and business interruption cover.
“At the end of the interim period, nine stores were still closed due to extensive civil unrest damage. It is expected six of these stores will reopen within six months and the remainder during our 2023 financial year,” said Shoprite.
In a twist turn of events, the Group added a net of 57 stores to its corporate supermarket business, no new stores opened outside its home market.
Still in South Africa, the group’s upper-market Checkers and Checkers Hyper-branded chain, which has been chipping away at Woolworths’s dominance in the premium food segment, continueg to report strong growth with sales increasing 11.4% for the period.
This is significantly higher than its main competitor in the premium foods market, Woolworths.
In a recent update for the 26 weeks ended December 2021, Woolworths reported a 3.8% growth in its food business, historically its most resilient segment.
Meanwhile, its Non-RSA unit increased sales by 11.4%, underpinned by strong growth from its Zambian operations.
Having discontinued its Kenya, Uganda and Madagascar operations, the group’s rest of Africa segment now spans over 10 African countries, contributing 9.4% to group sales.
Shoprite’s other operating segments, comprising OK Franchise, Transpharm, MediRite Pharmacies, Checkers Food Services (CFS) and Computicket, reported sales growth of 8.9%.
In terms of contribution to group sales the segment makes up 7.1%.