Retail giant Pick n Pay says it delivered a resilient financial performance for the year ended 27 February 2022 despite the considerable negative impact of the civil unrest of July 2021, and some continuing restrictions on trading associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Group turnover increased by 5.2%, despite an estimated R2.7 billion in lost sales arising from a large number of store closures as a result of the civil unrest (R1.8 billion) and the trading restrictions on liquor, largely in the first half of the year (R0.9 billion).
Pick n Pay said that trading momentum recovered well after the disruption, with sales growth of 7.4% in the final quarter of the year. Gross profit and operating margins reflect the significant impact of the lost sales and related earnings, including material stock losses, with the majority of the unrest-related losses expected to be recovered from insurers, it said.
The board has declared a final dividend of 185.35 cents per share, bringing the total FY22 dividend to 221.15 cents per share, up 23% in line with pro forma headline earnings per share.
The group said it made progress against a number of its strategic priorities, including strong customer growth from refurbished Pick n Pay Select supermarkets; market share gains from Pick n Pay Clothing, and significant growth in online on-demand grocery sales in the second half, following the relaunch of Pick n Pay Asap in August 2021.
Pick n Pay Clothing recorded sales growth of 21%, while the re-launch of the group’s on-demand grocery offer as Pick n Pay Asap delivered year-on-year growth of over 300% since August 2021.
Looking ahead, Pick n Pay CEO Pieter Boone said: “Our management team has developed a strong Strategic Plan to bring Pick n Pay closer to the customer and accelerate the progress of our key growth engines, including the expansion of our Boxer, Clothing and Omnichannel businesses.”