Bloomberg News

Spar Rallies to 11-Month High as Annual Earnings Increase

November 09, 2011

(Updates with closing share price in second paragraph, CEO comment in fifth.)

Nov. 9 (Bloomberg) -- The Spar Group Ltd., a South African food and liquor retailer, rose to its highest price in more than 11 months after reporting an increase in full-year profit.

The shares advanced 2 rand, or 2 percent, to 100 rand by the close of trading in Johannesburg today, the highest since Dec. 3. Spar has added 2.3 percent this year, compared with a 16 percent rally in the FTSE/JSE Africa General Retailers Index.

Net income climbed 4 percent to 952.6 million rand in the 12 months through September, Spar said in a statement to Johannesburg’s stock exchange. Sales increased 10.4 percent to 38.4 billion rand, and Spar boosted its dividend 4.1 percent to 3.77 rand.

Competition in South Africa’s food retail market is likely to intensify this year as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, made its first foray into South Africa by taking a controlling stake in Massmart Holdings Ltd.

Spar aims to add 100 stores to its network in fiscal 2012, bringing the total to 1,748, Chief Executive Officer Wayne Hook told reporters at a presentation today. Sales have been “strong” since the end of the fiscal year, and trading is better than in the second half of last year, Hook said.

Spar expects 2012 to be “challenging” with consumer spending under pressure and an increasingly competitive trading environment, according to Hook.

--Editors: David Risser, Vernon Wessels

To contact the reporters on this story: Janice Kew in Johannesburg at jkew4@bloomberg.net Renee Bonorchis in Johannesburg at rbonorchis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net


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