Pick n Pay's first-half profit nearly doubles

Grocery retailer Pick n Pay reported a near 91% jump in half-year earnings on Wednesday, boosted by a strong first quarter as it recovered from last year's strict pandemic curbs.

Source: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko
Source: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Comparable headline earnings per share (Heps), the main profit measure in South Africa, rose to 70.85 cents in the 26 weeks to 29 August from a low base of 37.12 cents a year earlier. Comparable Heps exclude hyperinflation accounting in Zimbabwe.

Pick n Pay, which also sells clothes, declared an interim dividend of 35.80 cents per share, up 91%.

The company said its results reflected solid performances by its value Boxer grocery chain and clothing businesses, strong momentum in omnichannel and effective management of working capital and capital investment.

Pick n Pay's second-quarter performance was hit by civil unrest in South Africa when people looted and damaged stores. The resumption of government restrictions on alcohol sales in response to the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic also impacted second-quarter sales, which fell 0.7%.

Source: Pick n Pay
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The group, with 2,039 stores across Southern Africa and Nigeria, estimated that the trading disruptions resulted in lost sales of approximately R1.7bn ($117.31m) in the second quarter.

Overall, the group delivered a turnover growth of 4.1% at R46bn over the first half.

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Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Promit Mukherjee and Subhranshu Sahu

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