JSE-listed retailer Mr Price, whose share price has lost a third of its value in 2019, said on Thursday profits had fallen by double digits in its six months to end-September as it grappled with stock problems in its apparel division.
Excess stock required markdowns to clear, with Mr Price Apparel sales declining 1.3% and after-tax profit falling 10.2% to R1.1bn, the company said.
Highlighting the effect of a mismatch of stock in physical stores, online sales had jumped 19.7% during the period. The effect was particularly noticeable in international sales, where Mr Price Apparel constitutes 69.7% of sales. Retail sales out of SA fell 2.2%.
Sales at Mr Price Home rose 3.2%, with online sales rising 36%.
Group revenue rose 2.6% to R10.8bn, with the company maintaining its dividend per share at 311.4c.
Mr Price Sports delivered a standout performance, with sales growing 12.2% and online sales 34.9%. Milady’s saw sales growth of 8.1% and the clothing retailer gained market share in five of the six months, according to Retailers Liaison Committee (RLC) data.
Both Mr Price Sports and Milady’s saw double-digit operating profit growth.
The company said on Thursday it was not expecting an improvement in the consumer environment in the short term, but remained focused on winning market share.