SPAR (SA) reports positive trading update

Date : 18 February 2021

Jon Wright

Head of Insight - RA EMEA

South Africa-based SPAR Group reported sales growth of 9.8%, to ZAR42.99 bn (US$3.0 bn), during the 18-week period to the end of January 2021. The Group enjoyed growth across all its country operations, with a strong advance in performance seen in Poland.

Growth in South Africa impacted by lost liquor sales

In its home market SPAR reported group sales growth of 3.4%, with its performance affected by weak consumer spending and lost liquor sales, due to lockdown restrictions brought in due to COVID-19. The company’s core grocery business saw sales growth of 2.8%, with same-store sales up by 2.5%. However, SPAR’s internally measured price inflation stood at 5.1%, which suggested the retailer saw a fall in volume sales during the timeframe.

Echoing the country’s other grocery retailers, SPAR said its liquor business had been ‘heavily impacted by the closure of TOPS at SPAR retail stores’. It said its wholesale liquor sales had fallen by 17.9% during the period.

BWG Group reports strong growth in Ireland

In local currency terms, SPAR said BWG Group’s sales had risen by 4.3%. Its retail brands generated a good performance, which helped to offset a decline in its cash & carry business. SPAR reported lockdown measures had boosted its local stores’ sales, with shoppers buying locally, which limited the impact on its hospitality-focused business.

Local buying supporting growth at SPAR Switzerland

The company said its SPAR Switzerland business had enjoyed turnover growth of 13.8% in local currency terms. It noted the business’s performance had been boosted by ‘the strong, continued support of local community stores as the country experienced strict regulatory lockdown measures’.

SPAR Poland making good progress on strategic focus areas

Reporting turnover growth of 38.1%, in local currency terms, SPAR said its operations in Poland were making ‘good progress… in many of the strategic focus areas’. These steps enabled it to show growth in sales despite the challenges faced by the business due to pandemic lockdowns.

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