The market appears to be buying Spar’s turnaround plans, with the evidence lying in the convenience retailer’s share price. It has risen more than 25% since the release of an interim trading statement on June 6. Moreover, the stock maintained its momentum after investors had dissected the group’s results for the six months to end-March, released on June 12.

Spar operates in 11 countries, but its core South African business accounts for about 60% of group sales. Angelo Swartz, who took over as CEO in October, stresses the focus will be on South Africa. “We need to focus on our Southern African business as the heart of our business,” he says...

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