Spar shines in tough environment as it flags rising food prices

Retail chain Spar Group has noted a marginal increase in prices for groceries and perishable items in recent months, using its own price inflation measure.

“Having reported internally measured price inflation of 4.1% for the first six months ended 31 March 2020, the increase to 4.6% for the period, reflects the marginal upward movement of prices in a range of grocery and perishable items,” it said in a trading update on Friday (18 September).

The group said it increased sales by 12.4% from R99.67 billion, to R112.04 billion for the 48 weeks to 28 August 2020, when compared to the previous corresponding 48 week trading period in 2019.

In Southern Africa, sales were up 4.8%, while turnover in the region rose by 7.8%, but only 1% during the lockdown period.

Liquor sales dropped by 16.4% due to the sales ban imposed by the South African government, while cigarette sales dropped by 30.5% during the period, and 71.9% in the last five months, following a ban on tobacco products.

“Approximately three of the last five months of trading for the period were lost due to liquor trade bans and this saw sales decline 44.1% in the period post 31 March 2020,” Spar said.

Spar Switzerland turnover reflected an ‘extraordinary’ increase of 11.4% as both the neighbourhood stores and the cash and carry business reported strong growth, it said.

The group said that the development of its Polish business was frustrated by the Covid-19 restrictions but, contributed R1.97 billion to group turnover.

Read: Spar says it expects food prices to rise in changing world

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Spar shines in tough environment as it flags rising food prices