Woolworths Holdings, South Africa’s biggest retailer by market value, said that sales gained 18 per cent in the first 20 weeks of its financial year, boosted by clothing, food and Australian chain David Jones. The shares rose the most in three months.
Excluding David Jones, which Woolworths bought for about $2 billion last year, revenue advanced 12 per cent in the period ending 15 November, the Cape Town-based company said in a statement. That was in line with the same period last year.
South African retailers are showing positive momentum as a more reliable power supply and falling fuel prices help consumers. Retail sales probably rose 4.1 per cent in September, according to the average estimate of economists polled by Bloomberg, compared with 3.9 per cent the previous month.
Woolworths' shares increased as much as 4.5 per cent, the most since 25 August, and traded 4.1 per cent higher, at 104.28 rand. That extended the year’s gain to 35 per cent, valuing the company at 100 billion rand ($7 billion).
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