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Massmart sales climb as South Africans look to home improvements

Massmart Holdings Ltd. (MSM), the South African food and goods wholesaler owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), said sales rose as consumers spent more on building supplies, boosted by higher prices. 

Comparable sales climbed 7.3 percent in the 44 weeks through Nov. 2, compared with a 4.3 percent rise in the 46 weeks through Nov. 10 last year. Product inflation for the period was estimated at 4.9 percent, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement. 

Nationwide retail industry sales were unchanged in June, the worst performance since December 2009, and the South African Reserve Bank has raised its benchmark interest rate twice this year as inflation exceeded the central bank’s 3 percent to 6 percent target range for five months this year. 

Massmart, which owns the cash and carry chain Makro in South Africa and do-it-yourself specialist Builders Warehouse, said comparable sales at its Massbuild division climbed 8.9 percent. Total and comparable sales growth at the Game South Africa chain increased marginally from that reported in 26 weeks ended June 29, it said. Game Africa slowed “slightly.” 

The stock traded 2.8 percent higher at 135 rand as of 9:02 a.m. in Johannesburg, bringing its gain this year to 3.9 percent. The FTSE/JSE Africa General Retailers Index has gained 13 percent. 

To contact the reporter on this story: Janice Kew in Johannesburg at jkew4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net Thomas Mulier.

Read the full news story here.

11 November 2014

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