• Net profit climb 9.3%
  • Operating profit grow 10.8%
  • Sales increase 13.5%

Spar South Africa has reported a "pleasing" first-half performance, despite higher unemployment levels and a "challenging" trading environment.

For the six months to the end of March, net profit climbed 9.3% to ZAR523.7m (US$64m). Operating profit grew 10.8% to ZAR782.8m

Sales in the period amounted to ZAR21.9bn, a 13.5% increase on the prior-year period. Spar put the growth down to volume growth of 6.1% and a "solid" contribution from food and "strong" performances from liquor and building materials.

"Trading profit for the period under review reflected a pleasing improvement over the same period last year," the company said. "The consumer remained under pressure, high unemployment levels persisted and food retail competition intensified, which all led to a challenging trading environment. This was partly countered by higher internal inflation of 7.2% for the period."

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