Shoprite, with a staff of 143,802 people, is SA’s largest private sector employer, the grocery chain claimed in its results for the 52 weeks to July 2 released on Tuesday morning.
Shoprite said it added 6,027 new positions during the reporting period as it grew to 2,689 outlets in 15 countries.
Retailers report in weeks rather than months, placing Shoprite’s 2017 financial year results in a slightly unflattering light in that it compares 52 weeks to 53 in its 2016 results.
Total sales grew 8.4% to R141bn and aftertax profit 12% to R5.4bn.
Shoprite declared a final dividend of R3.24, taking its total for the year to R5.04, an 11.5% increase over the prior year’s R4.52.
“The core South African supermarket operation, which represents 72% of total sales and 79% of trading profit, recorded sales growth of 8% (52 weeks: 10.5%) in a tough operating environment,” CEO Pieter Engelbrecht said in the results statement.
“Supermarkets outside of SA in 14 countries in Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands continued to perform well, generating an 11.7% increase (on a 52-week comparison: 13.5%) in turnover.
“Turnover growth of 31.6% (52 weeks: 33.8%) at constant currencies remains strong, albeit at a lower rate than the previous year.”
Engelbrecht said the chain held internal food inflation at an average 5.9% compared with official food inflation of 10%.
“Security costs are still showing double-digit growth due to the group having to spend more to protect customers and stores from the scourge of burglaries and armed robberies, which are on the increase, especially during month-ends and grant payouts,” Engelbrecht said.
Source: Business Day Live