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Retail

SPAR Group Posts ‘Resilient’ Trading Performance

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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SPAR Group Posts ‘Resilient’ Trading Performance

SPAR Group, which operates SPAR businesses in Ireland, Switzerland and Poland, as well as its native South Africa, has reported a 9.3% increase in turnover in the 20 weeks to 16 February.

In a trading update, the group noted that its ‘diversified strategy has ensured delivery of a strong top line’, which has been boosted by foreign-currency effects, however, it added trading conditions in all markets have been ‘tough’, given consumers’ search for value.

SPAR Southern Africa

In its SPAR Southern Africa business, it reported total wholesale growth of 5.6% in the period, while combined grocery and liquor sales went up by 6.1% – lower than the inflation rate of 7.5%.

The period saw the continued roll-out of the group’s SPAR2U on-demand shopping platform, which is now available at 403 locations – up from 201 sites as of January last year.

Across Europe

The group’s BWG Group business in Ireland, which also boasts some stores in south-west England, reported a ‘solid trading performance’, seeing turnover go up by 7.1%, in euro terms (+19.1% in ZAR terms).

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In Switzerland, turnover went down by 5.7%, in CHF terms (+9.2% in ZAR), due to consumers switching to retailers offering cheaper prices, including discounters and cross-border outlets, the group noted.

Finally, in Poland, which SPAR Group intends to exit shortly, turnover went up by 2.9%, in PLN terms (+16.1% in ZAR), with the business impacted by a ‘decline in retailer loyalty,’ the group noted.

‘Significant progress has been made to dispose of the Group’s interests in SPAR Poland,’ it noted of its Polish operations. ‘Management’s ambition is to negotiate the best possible outcome for all stakeholders. Negotiations are still in early stages and more information will be provided as the process progresses.’

The group’s financial results for the six months ending 31 March 2024 will be published on 5 June 2024.

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