Total sales for the year increased by 8.7%. Comparable sales grew by 3.9% with product inflation of 1.7%. Trading profit before interest and tax increased by 30.3% from improving margin management, great expense control and a good performance from Game Africa.
Game SA traded well in a difficult consumer environment and reported total sales growth of 7.8% and trading profit up 29.8%. Game Africa’s total Rand sales and sales in local currencies increased by 13.5% and 17.5% respectively, with trading profit up 23.8%. We are particularly pleased with the trading performances of our new Game stores in Zambia and Mozambique. Despite the difficult economic situation in Nigeria, we are trading at acceptable levels in all four stores. The central bank’s restrictions on foreign currency have had minimal impact on our sourcing because more than 80% of our product is procured locally.
DionWired has consolidated its position as South Africa’s best Appliances and Electronic’s boutique. Given the difficult upper-income consumer environment we are pleased with total sales growth of 7.8% and saw trading profit growing at a similar level.
The roll-out of Fresh continues with 84 Game stores now offering this category, and Food and Liquor sales comprise 21.3% of Game’s total sales. Our SAP project takes a material step forward in the second half of 2016 when we commence the point-of-sale software replacement across our stores. The more critical SAP ERP implementation is scheduled for 2017.
There have been several developments regarding lease exclusivities that appear to entrench the incumbent food supermarkets in certain localities. In 2014 Massmart formally requested the Competition Commission to investigate these market practices and in mid-2015 self-referred this complaint to the Competition Tribunal. At about the same time the Commission announced its intention to hold a formal inquiry into these tenancy arrangements and, last week, announced the names of the panel members who will lead this process. Finally, we have appealed the November 2015 decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal regarding lease exclusivities at the Cape Gate shopping centre.
Eight Game stores (including one each in Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria and Zambia) were opened and one store was closed; and two DionWired stores were opened and one store was closed, increasing trading space by 5.3% to 533,078m².
With no new stores in 2014 or 2015, Makro’s total and comparable sales growth for the period was 9.8%, with product inflation of 3.4%. The suggested volume growth of 6.4% shows how our customers, both retail and wholesale, continue to respond strongly to Makro’s value proposition.
The growth in Makro’s trading profit before interest and tax was good at 14.8% and was assisted by excellent expense control in the face of margin pressure.
Online sales now represent about 2% of total sales in those categories that form part of the online offering. It is noteworthy that Makro’s customer card data indicates that online shoppers continue to visit and shop our stores. We are delighted with the response to our new B2B online commercial customer offering launched in November 2015.
We are looking forward to opening a new store in April 2016 near Carnival Mall in the east of Johannesburg.
Massbuild grew total sales for the period by 11.0%, with comparable sales increasing by 7.4% and product inflation of 3.8%. Sales growth in Builders Warehouse has slowed amongst our retail customers and there is a marked drop-off in commercial and contractor sales particularly to those serving local and provincial governments. Also impacting sales growth, by about 1%, is significantly lower generator sales following the welcome stabilisation of South African electricity supply. Builders Express sales remain robust. Given that the South African housing market may come under pressure this year, there is potential for low but positive sales growth in this division.
The success and consumer acceptance of the Builders Warehouse format outside South Africa continues to exceed expectations. Total sales in non-SA stores grew by almost 50% and annualised sales may reach R1 billion soon.
Massbuild’s trading profit before interest and tax increased by 29.0% on the back of focused margin management and effective expense control.
Four Builders Warehouse stores were opened (including one in Zambia); two Builders Express stores were opened and two closed; and two Builders Trade Depot stores were closed. Net trading space increased by 2.9% to 449,133m².
In the very competitive South African Wholesale and Retail Food environments, total sales increased by 6.1%. Comparable sales increased by 5.8% with product inflation of 2.9%. Product inflation increased in the latter part of 2015 as commodity prices escalated. This may unfortunately now accelerate as categories like maize, sugar and potatoes are likely to be affected by further product inflation.
As a consequence of more aggressive trading, Masscash Wholesale’s sales growth accelerated towards the end of the financial year. Masscash Retail, through the Cambridge and Rhino formats, traded well, reporting comparable sales growth of 7.3%. Sales growth in these formats was also higher in the second half of 2015.
Masscash’s trading profit before interest and tax decreased by 25.8% as a consequence of intense margin and expense pressure in the Wholesale business, while Masscash Retail grew profit.
Three Wholesale stores were closed and a number were re-sized; whilst five Retail stores were opened and one was closed, resulting in net trading space decreasing by 7.0% to 372,714m².