Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The "lipstick index" — a theory postulated by Estee Lauder chair Leonard Lauder that cosmetic sales rise in tough economic times — will be put to the test on Friday when Clicks releases its interim results for the six months to end-February.

In a sales update released after Christmas, Clicks CEO David Kneale said he expected sales to remain strong.

"This will be driven by our value offer to customers and the continued expansion of the Clicks store and pharmacy footprint, underpinned by the relative resilience of the health and beauty markets in which we trade," Kneale said.

Clicks did not provide earnings guidance in its sales update, but said retail sales grew 12.2% in the 20 weeks ended January 15. Total group turnover, which includes wholesaler UDP, grew 8.6%.

"The Clicks chain performed well in the constrained consumer economy, showing good volume growth. Customer behaviour continues to reflect a shift to shopping later in the festive season and Clicks reported record trading days in the week ahead of Christmas," Kneale said in January.

"We continued to experience buoyant trading in the period after Christmas, driven mainly by value promotions across all categories."

On Wednesday, Pick n Pay’s share price fell 4.4% after its results showed nearly all of its 7% sales growth came from its aggressive roll-out of garage forecourt stores. Excluding new stores, Pick n Pay’s sales growth was just 3.4%, failing to keep pace with selling price inflation of 6.1%.

Anglo American holds its annual general meeting in London on Friday, at 3.30pm Johannesburg time.

Markets trading ahead of the JSE’s opening on Friday took their cue from Wall Street, where the S&P 500 gained 0.8% on Thursday.

Paris’s CAC 40 index rallied 1.5% on Thursday despite jitters over the first round of France’s general election. The second and final round takes place on May 7.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 was 0.82% higher and Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 was 0.54% higher on Friday morning.

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