South Africa's SPAR Group, which also boasts operations in Ireland, Poland and Switzerland, has reported a 6.0% increase in group turnover in the year to 30 September.
Turnover for the year came in at R135.6 billion (€7.54 billion), with operating profit for the period rising 1.1% to R3.43 billion (€190 million).
The group said that its performance continued to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the first half of its financial year, while in the second half, global geopolitical challenges led to all regions experiencing fuel and energy cost pressures.
In its core market of SPAR Southern Africa, which accounts for around two thirds (65%) of turnover, the group delivered wholesale growth of 8.4% and grocery growth of 5.3%, seeing a boost from its online shopping platform SPAR2U, which is now available at 87 stores.
Its TOPS at SPAR liquor store brand also had a good year, seeing sales growth of 42.6%, following on from the liquor trading restrictions of the previous year.
In Ireland, the company's BWG Group business, which also operates stores in southwest England, saw turnover growth of 7.6% in euro-denominated currency, with SPAR Group citing an 'impressive year of new store openings' as well as a number of strategic acquisitions.
'There is a real concern around the quantum and level of price increases that are coming through as global energy markets continue to be volatile, driving energy-led price inflation throughout the supply chain,' SPAR Group said of its Irish operation.
Switzerland And Poland
SPAR Switzerland saw turnover decline 3.0% in CHF-denominated terms in the half-year period, due to tough comparatives with the pandemic period, however turnover is still 14.4% higher than pre COVID-19.
In Poland, SPAR Group said that its business 'made a great deal of progress', seeing turnover growth of 8.2% in PLN-denominated terms, and reducing its operating losses by 9.5%.
Commenting on its performance, Brett Botten, chief executive and Graham O'Connor, chairman, said "We extend our sincere gratitude to our people for everything they do to inspire others to do and be more, in line with SPAR’s purpose. We are humbled by the dedication, sacrifices made, and commitment of our retailers, to embed the SPAR brand at the heart of our communities. We are better and stronger together."
© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Amanda Merchán. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.