Dis-Chem, the fast growing healthcare retailer that listed on the JSE late 2016, reaffirmed plans to open 200 stores in the next five years after making strong market share gains in the year to the end of February. In an investment presentation on Wednesday, Dis-Chem financial director Rui Morais said the company had increased market share across all categories. The dispensary business, which made up 36% of total revenue, increased market share from 19.6% to 21.4%, while personal care and beauty, which accounted for 27% of turnover, pushed market share to 15% (from 12.4% last year). The biggest gain by Dis-Chem was in the healthcare and nutrition niche, where market share was estimated to have grown from 38% to 43%. Encouragingly Dis-Chem’s growth — turnover was up 14.7% to R17.3bn — did not require margin sacrifice. The investment presentation showed gross margins rising to 24.4% (23.45%), and the operating margin fattening to 6.5% (6%).

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