Load shedding delivers a R90 million blow to one of South Africa’s biggest retailers

 ·19 May 2023

Healthcare retailer and pharmacy group Dis-Chem has published its reviewed annual condensed consolidated results for the twelve months ended 28 February.

The group said it was pleased with its performance as shopping patterns normalised after the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the year, the group said that it continued to increase its dispensary market share as South Africa’s largest retail pharmacy by dispensary market share.

Earnings per share jumped to 116.3 cents, an increase of 17.2%.

Headline earnings per share were also up 17.4% to 116.5 cents per share.

The group declared a gross final cash dividend of 18.45305 cents per share – based on 40% of headline earnings.

Other key financials can be found below:

Overall expenses (excluding depreciation) grew by 16.1% during the period.

The group said that its early investment in generator capacity resulted in minimal disputing to its ability to trade, however, heightened load shedding saw the group’s diesel expenses go up by 65% to R91 million.

Dis-Chem is the latest major retailer to report a massive increase in its energy costs.

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The group said that it expects South Africans will continue to face major economic headwinds.

Moreover, despite the group’s measures to address load shedding, it said that operational costs will continue to impact earnings.

However, it said that its integration into the healthcare value chain will reinforce its current and future earnings profile.

As previously announced, co-founder Ivan Saltzman will step down from his role as CEO at the end of June 2023, with current CFO Rui Morais succeeding him.

Saltzman will still remain as the executive director on the Board and continue to work as a part of the active executive management.

“The recently announced succession implementation ensures a smooth leadership transition and ensures executive management’s commitment to deliver on the group’s strategic ambitions over the long-term.”

Moreover, the group will acquire a 63,000 sqm distribution centre which will further accelerate the group’s retail space growth, enabling it to double its current store count by adding a warehouse capacity.

Read: Dis-Chem responds to outrage and boycott over ‘no whites’ letter

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