South African retailer Spar Group posted a 39% increase in first-half profit yesterday (5 April) boosted by the opening of 34 new stores.

Net profit for the six-month period reached SAR470m (US$) from SAR337.5m in the same period of 2008.

Revenue increased 24% to SAR16.2bn, boosted by growth at existing stores, new store openings, aggressive promotional activity and the impact of inflation. Further store openings are scheduled for the remainder of the year.

Spar said headline EPS for the six months stood at 242.5 cents, in line with its forecast of a 20-22% rise. Operating profit jumped 21.9% to SAR605.1m.

The group said it expected turnover growth to be lower for the rest of the financial year due to a slowdown in economic activity and a decline in inflation. However, Spar said it is confident that it will produce a “satisfactory level” of revenue and profit growth for the remainder of 2009.