South Africa's SPAR Group has reported sales growth across all its international operations in the 18 weeks to 29 January, with its Irish BWG Foods operation up 6.9%, Switzerland up 1.9% and Poland up 11.8%.
At group level, sales were up 5.8% to R45.5 billion (€2.67 billion) over the period, a performance that demonstrates the group's 'robustness and resilience during these disruptive times', it said in a statement.
SPAR Southern Africa
Its SPAR Southern Africa business reported wholesale growth of 8.2% in the period, largely driven by 'substantially increased' liquor sales, while its core SPAR grocery wholesale business saw sales up 3.7%.
'Trading conditions remained challenging due to constrained consumer spending, continued high levels of unemployment and aggressive competitor behaviour,' it added, also noting the impact of last summer's civil unrest on the performance of its store estate.
Its BWG Foods operation in Ireland, which also operates stores in southwest England, saw its performance impacted somewhat by the re-introduction of COVID-19 restrictions in November, which impacted its wholesale operations, the group said.
Turnover at BWG Foods was up 11.5% on the corresponding period in 2020, the group said.
In Switzerland, meanwhile, where COVID restrictions were 'less severe', there was a slowdown in sales at local neighbourhood stores, which had received a significant boost during the pandemic. Against the comparative 2020 period, turnover increased 15.9%, the group said.
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Finally, in Poland, the group is in the process of negotiating new contracts with a number of SPAR retailers, a process that is likely to be completed by June 2022.
Also in Poland, the group has entered into a strategic partnership with forecourt operator AVIA, with four SPAR stores opened at AVIA sites during the period.
SPAR Group's financial results for the six months to 31 March will be published in early June.