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July unrest: Massmart flags annual loss to widen at least 60%

Trucks burn outside a warehouse in Cato Ridge, KwaZulu-Natal during the unrest in July 2021. File image
Trucks burn outside a warehouse in Cato Ridge, KwaZulu-Natal during the unrest in July 2021. File image
Image: Value Logistics

SA retailer Massmart Holdings flagged on Friday a wider annual loss, hurt by store damages and lower trading income due to looting in the civil unrest in July last year.

The retailer, majority-owned by Walmart Inc, said it expects its 2021 headline loss, the main profit measure in SA, from total operations to come in between R1.47bn and R1.57bn. That is at least 60% to 70% wider than the loss of R924m reported in 2020.

Excluding food businesses held for sale such as Cambridge and Rhino stores, the loss is seen widening to between R938m and R1bn.

The owner of Game general merchandise chain had said in December it took a significant inventory write-off because of the looting that erupted after former president Jacob Zuma was forced to turn himself in to be jailed for contempt of court in July. The looting directly impacted 43 of its stores, resulting in lost trading profit of about R450m and an accounting loss of about R650m after insurance proceeds.



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