JOHANNESBURG, (The Southern African Times) – South African grocery retailer Pick n Pay PIKJ.J reported a near 91% jump in half-year earnings on Wednesday, boosted by a strong first quarter as it recovered from last year’s strict pandemic curbs.
Comparable headline earnings per share (HEPS), the main profit measure in South Africa, rose to 70.85 cents in the 26 weeks to Aug. 29 from a low base of 37.12 cents a year earlier. Comparable HEPS exclude hyperinflation accounting in Zimbabwe.
Pick n Pay, which also sells clothes, declared an interim dividend of 35.80 cents per share, up 91%.
The company said its results reflected solid performances by its value Boxer grocery chain and clothing businesses, strong momentum in omni-channel and effective management of working capital and capital investment.
Pick n Pay’s second-quarter performance was hit by civil unrest in South Africa when people looted and damaged stores. The resumption of government restrictions on alcohol sales in response to the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic also impacted second-quarter sales, which fell 0.7%.
The group, with 2,039 stores across Southern Africa and Nigeria, estimated that the trading disruptions resulted in lost sales of approximately 1.7 billion rand ($117.31 million) in the second quarter.
Overall, the group delivered a turnover growth of 4.1% at 46 billion rand over the first half.