Cigarette sales volumes at Spar are yet to fully recover since the ban on tobacco was lifted in August 2020, suggesting that the illicit trade that thrived during the four-and-a-half-month prohibition may have become more entrenched.

“This business has not seen any meaningful recovery since restrictions were lifted,” the wholesaler said in an earnings report that showed cigarette sales to its SA independent franchise outlets were 13.1% lower from October to March 2021 compared with the same months a year earlier...

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