South Africa's Spar Group has reported double-digit growth at its Switzerland and Poland operations for the 18-week period to 29 January, with its Ireland business also seeing growth.
However, the business was impacted by a nationwide ban on liquor sales in its home market, which saw a 17.9% decline in sales during the period.
In a trading statement, Spar Group said that sales were up 9.8% to R42.99 billion (€2.43 billion) in the 18-week period.
Its Spar Southern Africa business recorded wholesale sales growth of 3.4%, while its core Spar grocery business was up 2.8% (like-for-like up 2.5%).
Liquor sales, however, were 'adversely impacted by the nationwide ban on the sale of alcohol as a result of the pandemic and periods of restricted trading when the ban was lifted', the group said.
At the same time, its hardware and building supplies retail business, Build It, 'continued to benefit from increased consumer spending on residential dwellings', and saw sales up 25.6%.
In Ireland, the group's BWG Group operation saw turnover up 4.3% (in local currency), with 'strong contributions' from its retail brands compensating for a decline in its cash and carry and foodservice business.
The Appleby Westward Group in South West England, which is also owned by BWG Group, 'made a significant contribution to the turnover result', it noted.
In Switzerland, the group's focus on local community stores benefited it during lockdown, as turnover increased by 13.8% in local currency terms, while in Poland, turnover was up 38.1%.
'The Polish business has experienced setbacks as a consequence of the pandemic lockdowns, however good progress continues to be made in many of the strategic focus areas,' the group said.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.