The Spar group's expectations have fallen short just a year after the purchase of Spar Switzerland, as the rand's strength worked against the retailer. Yet Europe still seems to be the next growth frontier for the company. This week, at the group's release of its results for the six months ended March 2017, Spar reported that its Swiss business made an operating loss of R8.3-million as the sales declined because of muted economic growth and deflation. Spar CEO Graham O'Connor said despite the poor performance of the Swiss business there was "no question that it's a brilliant acquisition". "We bought the business as a rand hedge, and as an element of going into a market where we can withstand the economic environment," he said. "We weren't quite chuffed about the rand strengthening against other currencies, but it is what it is," said O'Connor.He added that despite the poor performance of the Swiss business, "we've made some changes and hopefully we'll put these into place". Part of ...

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