S.African retailer Mr Price rebounds from COVID-19 lows
JOHANNESBURG, Nov 25 (Reuters) - South African retailer Mr Price MRPJ.J posted on Thursday a 34.4% rise in half-year earnings, boosted by acquisitions and marking a rebound from a low base in 2020 when it was affected by virus-related lockdowns.
The budget clothing and homeware retailer said headline earnings per share (HEPS), the main profit measure in South Africa, rose to 448.3 cents in the six months ended Oct. 2, from 333.5 cents a year earlier.
Excluding a 185 million rand ($11.66 million) write-off for losses related to the July civil unrest, which resulted in 111 stores being looted and damaged, normalised diluted HEPS grew 46.4%.
The company also lost an estimated 320 million rand in retail sales as a result of the unrest. Mr Price said 96 of the 111 looted stores will be operational again by the end of November 2021.
Total revenue increased 35.2% to 12.4 billion rand, with retail sales increasing 37.8% to 11.9 billion rand. Online sales grew 49.9%, increasing their retail sales contribution, up to 2.9%.
Its sales were additionally supported by the inclusion of recently acquired budget clothing retailer Power Fashion and upmarket kitchenware and homeware retailer Yuppiechef.
Mr Price's clothing division grew its sales by 42.6%, with performance driven by further market share gains by the group's largest Mr Price apparel division, strong re-bound performances from womensware Miladys and Mr Price Sport, as well as from the inclusion of Power Fashion.
The homeware division continued its growth momentum, with sales and other income up 27.3% as household merchandise demand remained high.
Mr Price declared an interim dividend of 282.4 cents, up 34.4%.
($1 = 15.8676 rand)
(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Emma Rumney)
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