Truworths expects higher profit as sales jump


Truworths on Thursday forecast half-year profit growth of up to 11% on bumper sales over Black Friday in November and Christmas even as power outages at malls hampered shopping.

Truworths, which also owns UK-based shoe chain Office, said it expects headline earnings per share, the main profit measure in South Africa, to rise by between 8% and 11% for the 26 weeks ended January 1 from 448.6 cents.

Shares in Truworths were up 3.35% to R65.70.

Group retail sales increased by 13.7% to R11.3 billion.

“This was despite a record level of electricity load shedding (power cuts) in South Africa, and increasing pressure on consumers’ disposable income in both South Africa and the United Kingdom due to rising interest rates and high levels of inflation,” Truworths said.

Retail sales for Truworths Africa jumped by 13.8%, with sales for the last 9 weeks of the period rising by 10.6% to R4 billion.

The country’s state-owned power utility implemented severe power cuts last month, lasting up to 10 hours a day, as a number of its generating units failed.

Truworths said about 77% of its South African business’ turnover was covered by back-up power.

Notwithstanding its back-up efforts, “load shedding is likely to have had a negative impact on retail footfall, and consequently on retail sales, especially in malls without back-up power,” it said.

Retail sales for its UK-based Office business rose by 13.6% in sterling terms and by 13.3% in rand terms.

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