Bathroom-ware company Italtile, which owns CTM and U-Light, said low-interest rates and a demand for home improvement due to South Africans working from home probably helped it to achieve a double-digit rise in retail sales during its five months to end-November.

Funds earmarked for leisure and travel may have also instead gone to home improvements, Italtile said, reporting in a trading update that total retail sales grew by 16.4% to end-November.

Italtile said it had also managed to maintain a wide range of availability of its product, citing its “continued focus on improving the customer shopping experience, including implementing rigorous risk mitigating measures to ensure a safe operating environment for customers and staff”.

Manufacturing sales for the review period were up 16% compared with year-earlier period.

Italtile said it is likely that headline earnings per share will rise by more than 20% in the group’s first half to end-December, adding, however, that the trading environment remained highly uncertain.

In the group’s six months to end-December 2019 Italtile reported headline earnings (a widely used profit measure that strips out certain one-off items to give a better indication of underlying performance) of R679m.


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