Shoprite shares rise on higher sales, Nigeria divestment plan

Image: Kabelo Mokoena

Shares in South Africa's Shoprite Holdings shot up over 11% on Monday after it reported higher total sales and said it was considering the sale of all of, or a majority stake in, its Nigerian subsidiary.

The company, which owns more than 2,800 outlets across Africa, said in a trading update it was pursuing the sale after reviewing its operating model and receiving approaches from various investors.

"Any further updates will be provided to the market at the appropriate time," it said, adding its Nigerian operations could be classed as discontinued when it reports its full-year results.

The continent's top supermarket has been reviewing its long-term options in Africa as currency devaluations, supply issues and low consumer spending in Angola, Nigeria and Zambia have weighed on earnings.

With total sales rising 6.4% to 156.9 billion rand in the 52 weeks to June 28, it said its full-year headline earnings per share (HEPS) could rise despite the impact of coronavirus and an already announced impairment charge.

It said its HEPS - the main profit measure in South Africa - were likely to be between 1.6% below and 6.4% above the 747.7 cents it reported a year earlier.

Its South African supermarkets division grew by 8.7% while sales at its supermarkets outside South Africa, excluding Nigeria, fell 1.4%.

Its South African supermarkets were boosted by a strong second-half performance.

The Group plans to publish its 2020 year end results on September 8.

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