Medicine and beauty products retailer Clicks said the defensive nature of its products helped offset load-shedding and pressure on consumers during the 20 weeks to January 12, in which group sales rose by almost double digits.

Retail sales grew 7.9% during the period and total group sales 9.9% to R12.9bn, with its distribution unit faring particularly well.

Clicks, which also owns Musica and The Body Shop, said its medicine distribution unit United Pharmaceutical Distributors (UPD) had sales growth of 13.1% during the period.

UPD supplies medicines to Clicks and third-party clients, including private hospital groups and independent pharmacies. 

Clicks group CEO Vikesh Ramsunder said the strong trading performance in the weak consumer economy again demonstrated the resilience of the Clicks brand and the defensive nature of the health and beauty markets in which the group trades.

Clicks is considered a defensive stock by many analysts, as sales of beauty and health products are generally resilient during economic downturns.

“Our wide range of gifting and value offering, supported by the convenience of the Clicks chain’s extensive retail and pharmacy footprint, ensured that we maintained our robust sales momentum of recent years and sustained volume growth,” said Ramsunder.

Clicks’s share price was up 0.94% to R268 in morning trade on Thursday, having risen about 4.45% so far in 2020.


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