Total sales for the period increased by 7.6% and comparable sales grew by 2.4% with product inflation of 4.4%. This sales performance was boosted by strong Food sales in South Africa, where Game’s total sales growth was 3.3%, and a great sales performance in our non-SA stores where total Rand sales increased by 25.7% (and by 20.1% in local currencies). DionWired performed exceptionally and reported good sales growth and significantly higher trading profit.
Our Fresh roll-out continues with 82 Game stores now offering this category, and Food and Liquor sales comprise 21.8% of Game’s total sales.
Our focus on improving the Game customer proposition over the last two years, addressing the merchandise execution and driving supply chain efficiencies manifested in a very positive margin and expense performance, and so Massdiscounters’ trading profit before interest and tax increased by 110.8%.
Earlier this month we announced Albert Voogd as the incoming Massdiscounters CEO. Albert (51) is Dutch, has an MSc in Business Administration, and is an experienced retail veteran across Developed and Emerging markets. He was with Ahold for more than 20 years, and has worked in Europe, the USA and South America. Outgoing CEO Robin Wright, whose drive and energy played a very significant part in the improved Game performance, will be retiring but will continue to work with Massmart on specific projects.
Total sales for the period increased by 9.2% and comparable sales grew by 7.2% with product inflation of 5.5%. Given the dynamics of the consumer environment, sales growths in Food and Liquor were higher than these figures while growth in General Merchandise was lower.
In April we had a very successful store opening near Carnival Mall, east of Johannesburg, and it continues to perform well. Total online sales in General Merchandise and Liquor grew by 100% in the six months to June. Fruitspot performed well in a period of significant volatility in price and supply.
Although there was much cost pressure within the business, very good tactical trading resulted in an effective margin performance and so Makro increased trading profit before interest and tax by 10.1%.
The new Makro store increased trading space by 10.5% to 216,313m2.
Massbuild grew total sales for the period by 5.8%, with comparable sales increasing by 0.8% and product inflation of 4.0%. Given the difficult consumer economy and lower confidence levels amongst upper-income customers, coupled with substantially less construction activity generally, there was declining sales growth in Builders Warehouse with negative comparable growth in some months. Also impacting sales growth, by about 1%, are significantly lower sales of load-shedding products but this negative effect annualises in August 2016.
Builders Express sales remain solid as customers respond to this convenient shopping experience and, outside South Africa, the Builders Warehouse format continues to exceed expectations with total sales in non-SA stores growing by 60.3%. Our smaller format Builders Superstore now comprises nine stores and saw strong sales and profit growth.
Despite the sales pressure, good margin management and effective expense control resulted in Massbuild’s trading profit before interest and tax increasing by 6.4%.
One Builders Warehouse store was closed in Mozambique; a Builders Express store and a Builders Superstore were opened; and one Builders Trade Depot store was closed. Net trading space decreased by 0.6% to 446,300m².
Total sales increased by 10.3%, comparable sales increased by 10.9% and product inflation was 7.9%. Competition remained intense within the South African Wholesale and Retail Food environments. The severe economic pressure that consumers are experiencing is evident in the very heavy customer traffic experienced in-store around the few days of the month that customers have money following social grant payouts and salary and wage payments. Food inflation accelerated from April 2016 as drought-induced commodity prices escalated.
The Jumbo Crown Mines store that was destroyed by fire in February 2016 is being rebuilt for opening early in 2017 and the resultant direct losses are fully covered by insurance. The loss of this significant trading store causes Masscash Wholesale’s comparable sales growth of 11.1% to be higher than total sales growth. Masscash Retail, through the Cambridge and Rhino formats, traded well, reporting comparable sales growth of 12.3%.
Effective margin management in the face of intense competitive pressure enabled Masscash to grow trading profit before interest and tax by 12.9%.
Two Wholesale stores were closed; whilst three Retail stores were opened and two were closed, resulting in net trading space decreasing by 7.1% to 346,069m².