Game and DionWired where total sales decreased by 1.4% and comparable sales were down 3.5% with product deflation of 0.3%, are particularly exposed to lower levels of discretionary income spending. Both businesses brought an intense focus on maintaining price-perception, being innovative and satisfying customers. In Game’s South African stores total sales increased by 1.7%, while comparable sales were up 0.2%. Game Africa’s total sales in local currencies increased by 12.4%, but declined by 10.2% in Rands due to currency weakness, particularly in Mozambique and Nigeria. Given the difficult consumer environment for Hi-Tech and Appliances, DionWired sales were below those of the prior period.
The division aggressively managed expenses which, in total, were lower than the prior period and reduced its inventory value to below that in June 2016. Both of these initiatives position the business to benefit strongly from any positive sales momentum. Massdiscounters’ trading profit before interest and tax decreased by 12.8%.
The new GK-POS roll-out was completed successfully across all Game and DionWired stores in South Africa. The more significant SAP ERP systems’ implementation remains on schedule for 2018.
Our Fresh roll-out continues with 73 Game stores in South Africa and 17 in other African countries now offering this category. Food & Liquor sales participation is already 23.6% and is achieving comparable growth of 4.7%. One Game store was opened in Ghana, increasing trading space by 0.8% to 549,454m² from December 2016.
Total sales increased by 4.0% and comparable sales grew by 1.5%, with product inflation of 3.9%. Total sales growth in Food & Liquor was 6.9%, an exceptional performance given the consumer environment and despite deflation in commodities, whilst General Merchandise sales growth was slightly negative.
Effective cost management resulted in total expenses increasing by only 4.3%, while an intense focus resulted in inventory values lower than at the same time last year. Trading profit before interest and tax decreased by 6.9% to R473.2 million.
Online sales grew by 48% compared to the prior period and we successfully launched the innovative Makro digital rewards programme, mCard.
There were no new stores in the period and trading space was maintained at 217,907m2. Later this year we will open a new store in Riversands, to the north of Johannesburg.
Massbuild’s total sales growth was flat compared to the prior period, with comparable sales decreasing by 0.2% and product inflation of 4.7%. Sales growth in our South African stores was slightly positive from an emphasis on price-perception, customer-satisfaction and great merchandise execution, and we gained market share as a consequence. The total sales’ decline in our ex-SA stores was 0.2% in constant currencies* but 18.2% in Rands. Our two stores in Mozambique were particularly affected by the economic challenges in that country.
Good expense management saw expenses declining by 1.6% and Massbuild was able to reduce its inventory levels to below those in the same period last year. Trading profit before interest and tax of R247.0 million was 4.9% below those of the prior period.
Validating its position of South Africa’s leading DIY format, the Builders Warehouse online proposition launched earlier this year is exceptional with many products, rich product data and good search functionality. Customers have reacted positively and the length of time spent on the website is high. Whilst still small in value, growth of online sales is accelerating rapidly.
One Builders Superstore was opened in South Africa. Net trading space increased by 0.5% to 451,336m² from December 2016.
Total sales decreased by 1.0%, while comparable sales decreased by 3.3%. Between December 2016 and June 2017 product inflation fell from 9.3% to 4.0%, with commodities like maize, wheat, oil and rice moving steeply into deflation. The speed and extent of this deflation caused all participants in the wholesale sector to reduce their purchases and to lower stock levels to avoid being out-priced, which severely impacted our Wholesale business’s sales in the period. The Retail stores performed well in this difficult consumer environment, growing total sales at 7.7%.
Despite very effective cost control, the sales pressure was such that trading profit before interest and tax declined by 94.5%, while inventory levels were reduced by 18.0%.
One retail store was opened, resulting in net trading space increasing by 3.0% to 367,260m² from December 2016.
*Trading profit before interest and taxation