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Pepkor witnesses profit jump by 16% despite revenue hit

Pepkor, which owns brands such as PEP and Ackermans, managed to deliver a double-digit earnings increase even as the effects of the July 2021 unrest and KwaZulu-Natal flooding hit the group’s revenue growth. 

The JSE-listed retailer reported on Tuesday that its revenue grew 5.3% in the year to end September, saying that growth had been negatively affected by the flooding of PEP’s distribution center in KwaZulu-Natal in April, as well as its recovery from the unrest in July last year.

At the same time, product mix changes in its Flash business, which offers informal traders affordable payment systems to do business, also impacted revenue growth.  It said that if Flash and the lost sales due to the floods were excluded, revenue growth would have been 8.1%.

Normalized headline earnings per share, excluding once-off items,  rose 15.7% to 150.7c per share with Pepkor, delivering a dividend of 55.2c, representing a 24.9% increase on the previous year.

Pepkor’s share price was down over 2% in early trade on Tuesday.

The company said the July 2021 unrest resulted in looting and damage of 549 of the group’s stores. While 386 of these stores were reopened by September last year, 104 stores could only be reopened during the current financial year “due to factors outside the group’s control, including infrastructure rebuild and delays in the reopening of shopping complexes”. A further 37 stores will be reopened in the next financial year.

Pepkor said the flood-damaged PEP distribution center in KwaZulu-Natal represented 40% of the group’s total distribution capacity.

“This negatively impacted in-store product availability and resulted in estimated lost sales of R460 million.”

Source: News 24

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