Blog: Brasher faces challenge as Pick n Pay disappoints in H1

Michelle Russell | 25 October 2012

South African supermarket operator Pick n Pay may be counting on new CEO Richard Brasher to turn the retailer's fortunes around after the group booked a "disappointing" drop in first-half earnings today (25 October).

The group was open about its disappointment this week at the 41.5% slide in earnings, which it said was impacted by investments, as well as the centralisation of its distribution operations.

The group said the appointment of Brasher brings "precisely the skills and experience we need to take the business forward".

The former Tesco UK chief is certain to have a challenge on his hands.

It is the first time Pick n Pay has appointed a CEO from outside its own ranks, and while Pick n Pay is confident he has what it takes to turn the group's fortunes around, analysts are less confident.

36One Asset Management analyst Even Walker believes Brasher's main challenges will be the country's "militant labour union", in addition to productivity issues, which he said he'll "have a tough time fixing". He adds: "It's going to be messy."



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