(Updates with trader comment in third paragraph.)
Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Pick n Pay Stores Ltd., a South African supermarket chain, fell to the lowest in more than two years in Johannesburg trading after first-half profit as much as halved following investments in a loyalty program and distribution systems.
The stock declined as much as 4.3 percent to 35.04 rand, the lowest intraday price since Aug. 20, 2009, and traded at 35.24 rand as of 11:14 a.m. local time.
“Pick n Pay has been losing market share to other retailers,” Ferdi Heyneke, a Johannesburg-based equities trader at Afrifocus Securities Ltd., said by phone. “While they’ve been making changes like their loyalty program, it’s going to take time to win investors’ approval back.”
The Cape Town-based grocer said yesterday that earnings per share in the six months through August dropped 40 percent to 50 percent, while sales increased 7.4 percent amid “tough economic conditions, dominated by low inflation and a highly competitive trading environment.”
--Editors: Jerrold Colten, Tom Lavell
To contact the reporter on this story: Janice Kew in Johannesburg at firstname.lastname@example.org
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