ringing it up
Shoprite's biggest-selling store is now in Africa.
Chief executive Whitey Basson said the fastest growth came outside South Africa, where its supermarkets grew their turnover by 32percent and their profit growth more than doubled.
Basson kept the details of the group's non-South African operations sketchy, saying oil producing West African countries were its best markets.
The group's 1220 stores operating in 17 countries rang up a combined R23billion in the six months to December 31, 21percent higher than the same period in 2006.
Despite high food inflation and lower disposable income, trading profit leapt over 42percent to R1billion.
This was partly due to a strike depressing sales the previous year.
Shoprite declared a 40percent higher dividend of 49c a share.
The retail group is selling South African goods as private label products outside the country because suppliers refuse to invest in developing their brands in export markets.
"South African companies just don't see the export opportunities despite our success at selling in Africa," Basson said at the group's interim results presentation yesterday.
Domestically the group operates three brands of supermarket chains Checkers, Shoprite and USave.
Shoprite has grown into South Africa's largest supermarket chain, which with Checkers serves more than 33 million customers a month.