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Retailer Lewis made 55% of its revenue from selling merchandise in the first half of its 2019 financial year — a change from a decade ago when more than half its top line came from interest, insurance and other fees its customers ended up paying when they bought furniture. The introduction of the National Credit Act severely constrained Lewis’s traditional business practices, resulting in its final dividend getting cut by two-thirds and its interim dividend getting halved in its 2017 financial year. Its results for the six months to end-September released on Wednesday morning showed that its efforts to move from credit to cash sales is gradually taking shape. After two years of holding both its final and interim dividends at R1, it declared a small rise to R1.05 for the first half of its 2019 financial year. Overall revenue grew 9% to R2.9bn, boosted by a 26% jump in merchandise sales to R1.6bn. Besides its flagship Lewis chain, the group owns Best Home and Electric; Beares, which i...

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