Following in the footsteps of former Shoprite CEO James Wellwood "Whitey" Basson was never going to be an easy task. But new CEO Pieter Engelbrecht has experienced nothing short of a baptism of fire since taking over in 2017. Results for the year to end June 2018 were unexpectedly poor for a company that hitherto had a particularly strong track record, even in the tough times. The numbers largely reflect the extremely difficult economic circumstances being experienced by consumers in SA and Africa, and he had several other nasty surprises to contend with. Group turnover, consisting mainly of Shoprite and Checkers stores in SA and Shoprite stores in the rest of Africa, grew by 3.1% to R145.3bn. The supermarket segment in SA grew by 6%, and excluding the effect of new floor space, this was only 1.9%. Rest of Africa revenue declined by 7% and by 12% excluding new floor space. Former star performer Angola plummeted by 26.1% in rand sales. Its local currency, the kwanza, suffered a 50% d...

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