Foschini plans aggressive roll-out in tight market

Robert Laing

Robert Laing

Fashion chain Foschini Group posted flat sales, with its small revenue growth coming from 61 more stores opened during the year ended in March.

The homeware to jewellery retail chain owner claimed it cut its cloth to suit consumers' tighter pockets, but investors sent its share down four percent to close at R34,49 yesterday.

While its retail turnover only grew six percent to R7,7billion, interest income from selling on tick grew 20percent to more than R1billion and money from insurance accompanying those deals grew 125percent to R80million.

The biggest growth in its revenue segments came from "customer charges" by RCS, its retail card partnership with Standard Bank. Charges to RCS account holders grew 150percent to R99million.

Foschini's flagship women's clothes chain, which contributed 40percent of its total sales, posted "unsatisfactory same store growth of 1,2percent", the results statement said.

"The Donna-claire and Fashionexpress stores continued to trade satisfactorily and are now well established in the marketplace. Both these brands are under-represented and will be expanded in the next year."

The group plans an aggressive roll-out of more than 100 new stores in the year ahead despite the current pinch on disposable income.

Its jewellery division comprising American Swiss Jewellers, Sterns and Matrix surprised by growing turnover nearly seven percent despite the consumer slowdown and higher gold prices.