AVI, whose brands include Bakers biscuits and seafood business I&J, said on Monday its footwear businesses struggled the most in the six months ended December. Revenue from the group’s footwear and apparel operations, which include the Spitz and Green Cross brands, decreased by 9.2% to R1.1bn while operating profit fell 20.9% to R270.8m. That weighed on the group’s interim numbers. Group revenue declined 3.2% to R7.1bn, while profit after tax declined 6.5% to R994m. AVI said footwear sales volumes within Spitz fell 8.2%, even though the selling prices of core ranges had not been increased since April 2016. “Consumer demand was subdued and the business was not able to repeat last year’s record December sales performance,” AVI said. Revenue from Green Cross fell 20.4% largely due to lower sales volumes, the group said. “Sales volumes were impacted by soft demand and widespread discounting in the midprice comfort footwear segment, exacerbated by poor performance of the summer range in ...

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