It has been a  torrid two years for South Africa’s retail sector. Latest figures showed the narrow definition of unemployment at over 29%, Shoprite’s final and Massmart’s interim trading updates were far worse than expected, and Reserve Bank statistics indicate that SA is in the throes of the longest economic downturn since 1945, with negative first quarter GDP figures of -3.2%. 

Shoprite released a dire prediction of headline earnings per share (HEPS) being down by up to 20% for the year to end-June 2019. This was softened somewhat by the announcement that its second-half performance was significantly better than its first half, with the final quarter of the current financial year showing significant absolute and relative strength.

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