Mr Price third quarter stake rises

CLOTHING and home goods retailer Mr Price Group said yesterday that sales rose 8,4 percent in the third quarter of its financial year, fuelled mainly by clothing, which represented 73,4percent of sales.

BoE retail analyst Shanay Narsi said this was slightly below expectations, "but this is inevitable if just one side of the business is driving growth".

Nedcor retail analyst Syd Vianello said the figures were below expectations, though analysts said the numbers were commendable.

The apparel division comprises Mr Price, Mr Price Sport and Miladys. The home division (Mr Price Home and Sheet Street) represented 26,6percent of sales and continued to be affected by reduced consumer spending on durable and semi-durable products and recorded sales growth of only 3,2percent.

The group achieved sales growth of 6,2percent and 6,4percent in October and November, respectively, and 10,8percent in December.

Narsi does not support the view that shoppers at Mr Price have been shopping down.

"Yes there is value on offer but customers are also attracted to the improved fashion offering that had been evident over the last few years."

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