Building materials retailer Cashbuild has opted to pay a final dividend, saying that sales have picked up by more than 10% in the six weeks following its year to end-June.

The group estimated the effects of Covid-19 on lost revenue at R621m, the group said. While conditions are expected to be challenging, revenue had risen 22% in the six weeks after year-end.

Profit fell 37% to R272.6m during the year, while revenue fell 7% to R10bn.

Revenue from the group’s existing stores fell 10%, while its 22 new stores provided an increase. At the end of June, the group had 318 stores.

The group declared a final dividend of 272c, a payment of about R68m, from 420c previously. The total dividend for the year declined 17% to 707c.

Cashbuild expects trading conditions to remain “extremely challenging” due to the weakness of the national economy, which will weigh on consumers’ disposable income.

In morning trade on Tuesday, Cashbuild’s share was up 6.22% to R190, having fallen 15.54% so far in 2020.

The group’s share has risen about by about 20% since August 4, when it announced it had agreed to acquire Pepkor’s The Building Company (TBC) for almost R1.1bn.

The acquisition will almost double Southern Africa’s largest building retailer’s revenue. CEO Werner de Jager said at the time that the acquisition would also give Cashbuild additional access to SA middle- to high-income consumers.