Retailer Shoprite, the owner of Usave and Checkers, has reported record revenue in its year to end-June, increasing its dividend and reporting market share gains amid a focus on online sales and mid-to-higher-level consumers.

The group raised its final dividend by 39% to 227c for its year to June 28, saying it had cut debt and improved its cash position despite the disruptive effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shoprite said it market share had increased for 16 consecutive month up to and including June, with trading profit increasing 10.4% to R8.3bn during its financial year, excluding the effects of hyperinflation in Angola.

The two weeks preceding SA’s level 5 lockdown resulted in elevated sales growth across all three of Shoprite’s supermarket brands, the group said, with significant growth reported by Checkers, which has repositioned itself for SA’s mid-to-upper-end consumers.

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During the year, the group launched its digital shopping application Checkers Sixty60 and its Checkers Xtra Savings Rewards Programme, which ended the year with 4.7-million customers registered.

There have been 620,000 application downloads of Checkers Sixty60, and it is SA’s number two shopping application, the group said.

“In a challenging year we are proud to report the group’s 6.4% increase in sales to a record R156.9bn,” said CEO Pieter Engelbrecht.

The core Supermarkets SA business increased sales by 8.7% to R122.4bn.

The group’s total dividend for the period was 383c from 319c previously.​

Source: www.businesslive.co.za