South Africa's SPAR Group has reported 'solid turnover growth' in its Ireland operation in the 48 weeks to 27 August, while its Swiss business also saw 'an extraordinary performance' during the period.
In a trading update, the Pinetown-based group said that its BWG Foods operation in Ireland reported 3.3% growth in euro-denominated currency, with its neighbourhood store brands experiencing 'positive sales growth' due to increased local shopping.
Its BWG Foodservice business has also shown signs of turning around, following the lengthy closure of the HoReCa channel, with turnover now back to 90% of 2019 levels, the group said.
Strong Growth In Switzerland
In Switzerland, continued lockdowns meant that the business reported a 7.3% increase in turnover in CHF-denominated currency, with shoppers continuing to 'support local retailers extensively during the period'.
Growth slowed to 3.4% during the last five months of the period, as the local market and borders started to reopen, however the slowdown is also due to tough comparatives with the corresponding period last year.
SPAR Group's operations in Poland also made a 'positive contribution' to sales, with turnover up 17.5% on a PLN-denominated basis, as it continued to drive retailer loyalty.
The overall retail environment in Poland has 'recovered slightly' since the reopening of shopping malls in May 2021, the group said, which has helped to negate the impact that the closure had on a small number of corporate stores.
Positive South Africa Performance
Its SPAR Southern Africa business recorded wholesale growth of 4.5% in the period, while the core SPAR grocery business increased sales by 0.5% and like-for-like sales were up 0.2%.
Liquor sales increased by 12.0%, despite being impacted by restricted trading, while sales in its Build It building supplies channel were up 27.6% due to the closure of stores the previous year.
The trading update also takes into account the civil unrest that took place in Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal during the summer.
'Of the 184 stores that were initially affected, we have since reopened 115 stores,' SPAR Group said. 'A further 32 stores will be reopened before the end of the 2021 calendar year. The reopening of the remaining 37 stores will be delayed due to the extent of the damage caused.'
SPAR Group will reveal its full-year results for the year to 30 September on 17 November 2021.