"Retail sales in South Africa continue to be resilient. Pleasingly, sales growth in all our chains accelerated," said Jürgen Schreiber, chief executive of Edcon.
The company's Edgars Department Stores division, which includes Edgars, Boardmans and Red Square, increased retail sales by 13%, mainly due to strong growth from cellular products, children's' wear and footwear. CNA's retail sales improved by 11,1%, driven by sales of cellular, digital and confectionary products.
Edcon's discount division, which includes Jet, Jet Mart, Legit and Discom, grew retail sales by 11,7% compared with the same quarter last year, primarily from a strong performance in cellular, footwear and ladies wear.
The retailer generated a R2,684billion cash flow from operating activities following the higher profit growth and a lower investment in working capital.
While working capital continued to be tightly managed across the group, inventory investments had been enhanced in order to ensure that stores remain in stock of key items, Edcon said.
Credit sales contributed 51% to total retail sales for the third quarter, up from 49% in the matching quarter last year.