Measured by the volume of groceries sold, Pick n Pay delivered its strongest six-month trade performance in five years, its interim results released on Tuesday morning claimed. The group’s turnover for the 26 weeks to August 26 came to R41.2bn, a 6.4% growth from the first half of its previous financial year. Its network of stores under its various brands totalled 1,732 at the end of the reporting period, indicating fairly conservative expansion. The group reported it had 1,685 stores at February 25, so it grew by a net 47 stores during the first half of its 2019 financial year. Like-for-like turnover growth, which excludes new stores, was 3.8%. CEO Richard Brasher said the retailer held its internal inflation at 0.3%, far lower than the 3.5% food inflation reported by StatsSA in its consumer price index (CPI). After-tax profit grew 20% to R489m, and diluted headline earnings per share (HEPS) by 17% to 98.38c. Pick n Pay raised its interim dividend by 17% to 39.1c from 33.4c. “There...

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