Reliably consistent growth in good and bad times, high returns and strong cash flow are usually the three essential attributes sought by long-term investors. Clicks Group has been delivering them to its shareholders for over a decade. "Clicks just keeps on powering ahead," says Nadim Mohamed of First Avenue Investment Management. "Its management have done a superb job." Clicks, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, kept up the pace in its half-year to February, turning in a 12.2% rise in operating profit to R942m, a 14.8% rise in headline EPS (HEPS) and a 16.5% rise in its interim dividend. Adding to the solid showing was an impressive 39.3% return on equity and cash flow after tax of R890m. As always, health and beauty products were the big drivers of Clicks’s growth in its past half-year. Here Clicks excelled, lifting sales by 14.3% to an estimated R9.5bn. "We achieved the health and beauty sales growth despite internal inflation of only 2.6%," says David Kneale, Clicks...

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