Strong retail sales growth and the acquisitions of Power Fashion and Yuppiechef have boosted Mr Price’s profits for the 52 weeks to end-April.

The value retailer’s headline earnings per share grew 20.1% to 1 282.1 cents, and its operating profit exceeded R4 billion for the first time. The group declared a final dividend of 807.7 cents per share.

Despite the third and fourth waves of Covid-19, load shedding, last year’s July unrest temporarily closing 111 stores, and supply chain issues, the group’s total revenue increased 23.0% to R28.1 billion. Online sales grew 48.2% compared to the previous period. Cash sales made up 86.1% of group retail sales and grew 26.4%, largely aided by the inclusion of Power Fashion and Yuppiechef – which are both cash-based.

The group is free of financing debt and has a cash balance of R4.6 billion.

Mr Price group’s store footprint grew to 1 721 with the acquisition of seven Yuppiechef stores, while 36 new Power Fashion stores were opened after being acquired. All together, 130 new stores were opened in the period.

Other income grew 37.5% to R1.2 billion mostly owing to the inclusion of a once-off Sasria insurance claim of R296.1 million following the July unrest. The business interruption claim is still being assessed and will likely be finalised in the 2023 financial year.

“I am very satisfied with the way in which the team have responded to the multiple challenges we have faced this year. It is important to remember that we were one of the first businesses in South Africa to get back to pre-Covid-19 earnings levels,” group CEO Mark Blair said.

“Our base is much higher than most of the market as we reported earnings growth in FY2021 when most companies’ earnings were declining.”

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Article written by Ahmed Areff, of News24