Times not that tough for Mr Price

Adele Shevel

Adele Shevel

Retail group Mr Price showed its resilience and winning formula as a value retailer with a primarily cash contribution, taking away market share from competitors, according to results for the year ended in March.

Retail sales exceeded R7billion for the first time, up 19percent at R7,2billion with operating profit exceeding R700million up 17percent.

The group achieved a return on equity of 40percent. Diluted headline earnings a share grew 14,8percent to 210,8 cents a share for the year.

While most credit retailers are going through tough times, the Mr Price group's apparel and home divisions have grown market share, according to statistics from the Retailers' Liaison Committee, though homeware struggled and sales dipped compared to the previous reporting period.

The apparel division - Mr Price, Milady's and Mr Price Sport - grew sales by 22percent to R4,9billion and profits rose 32percent to R670million.

The new concept of express stores, which are smaller versions, will continue to be rolled out.

Milady's delivered its highest operating margin yet, making it the second largest profit contributor to the group. Its customers are not going through the same credit crunch other competitors are.

Mr Price Sport opened 15 more stores in the period, achieving sales of R240million, making it the second largest sports company in the country.

The slowing economy has, however, affected bigger ticket items such as gym equipment and treadmills.