South African retailer Shoprite has grown its annual profits despite “subsidising” food prices for “hard-pressed” consumers, the company said today (25 August).

The company said it had taken a cut in its margins of 1.2% but managed to grow profits through “greater efficiencies”.

Trading profit rose 28.1% to ZAR2.94bn (US$376.5m) with turnover up 24.5% at ZAR59.32bn.

CEO Whitey Basson said Shoprite’s “success” was the result of a “focused business plan”. He said: “Central to this plan is the decision to control, to the best of our ability, all aspects of our business, from focusing on the right market segments to reducing the cost of managing a very large and complex business.”

All three Shoprite’s food chains in South Africa – Shoprite, Checkers and Usave – out-performed the market with combined turnover growth of 22.8% to ZAR46.55bn.