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SA retailers The Foschini Group and Truworths are delivering an improved trading performance

The Foschini Group’s shares closed 4.19 percent higher to R136.21 after the clothing, homeware, and jewellery retailer reported a strong performance. Photo: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

The Foschini Group’s shares closed 4.19 percent higher to R136.21 after the clothing, homeware, and jewellery retailer reported a strong performance. Photo: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jan 24, 2022

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BOTH JSE-LISTED retailers The Foschini Group (TFG) and Truworths on Friday reported stronger sales performances and growth in the quarter to end-December.

TFG’s shares closed 4.19 percent higher to R136.21 after the clothing, homeware, and jewellery retailer reported a strong performance.

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The company attributes post-Covid-19 recovery, global vaccine drive and the easing of lockdown restrictions as some of the reasons that led to the stellar results.

On Friday it reported a turnover growth of 17.3 percent, compared to the same period in 2020.

“The majority of the group’s outlets delivered strong trading performance as economic activity resumed,” TFG said.

The group – whose 29 brands include Markham, Jet, @home, American Swiss, Sterns, and Totalsports – said its Homeware sales rose by nearly 33 percent, while jewellery increased by 27 percent.

Clothing turnover across its African business increased by close to 44 percent compared to 2020.

It saw remarkable growth of 19.3 percent in November 2021 compared to November 2020 over the Black Friday period.

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Over the festive period, the retailer saw 19.8 percent growth in December 2021 compared to December 2020.

Festive period retail turnover exceeded expectations with strong customer demand for the group’s products.

“November retail turnover was supported by a robust Black Friday (R422 million this financial year compared to R341m in the previous financial year), while the week before Christmas delivered R380m more retail turnover than in the previous financial year,” the company said.

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TFG said all merchandise categories grew retail turnover compared to the same quarter in the previous financial year, except for the most discretionary category, cosmetics, and cellphones, largely due to international supply chain disruptions.

“Pleasingly, the group’s localised clothing supply chain and the sourcing model provided effective insulation against international supply chain disruptions in this important category,”it said.

Cash retail turnover contributes almost 71 percent of total sales for the nine months to December 2021, but there was strong growth in credit sales

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TFG said its online retail turnover for the third quarter full year 2022 grew by 23.6 percent compared to the same quarter in 2021.

Meanwhile, TFG competitor Truworths International’s shares closed 1.07 percent up on Friday at R58.36 after its trading statement for the 26-week period ended on December 26, 2021.

Truworths, whose main markets are South Africa and the UK, said despite trading challenges, which included the Covid-19 pandemic, load-shedding and the July civil unrest in South Africa, sales increased by 2 percent to R9.9 billion from the comparative period the prior year.

Retail sales for Truworths Africa, excluding the UK-based Office segment and comprising mainly of the Truworths businesses in South Africa, increased by 1.4 percent to R7.4bn , with account sales increasing by 1.3 percent and cash sales increasing by 1.5 percent.

The group’s UK-based Office segment sales grew 3.9 percent to R2.5bn, but by 8.1 percent in pounds, amid a stronger rand during the period.

The group estimated its headline earnings per share (Heps) would increase by between 29 percent and 34 percent to between 438 cents and 455c relative to the prior period Heps of 339.3c for the current period.

The retailer said that online sales also continued to show good growth in the current period, increasing by 32 percent and contributing 2.2 percent to the segment’s total retail sales.

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BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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