June 13, 2017 / 9:10 AM / 2 years ago

South Africa's Brait slashes FY NAV as New Look, currency swings weigh

JOHANNESBURG, June 13 (Reuters) - South Africa’s Brait SE reported a hefty 43 percent fall in full-year net asset value (NAV) on Tuesday, weighed down by unfavourable currency movements and a weak showing at New Look, its British no-frills clothing chain.

Brait, which also owns gym chain Virgin Active and British supermarket Iceland Foods, said NAV totalled 39.5 billion rand($3.45 billion), or 78.15 rand per share in the year to end March.

That was down from 70 billion rand, or 136.3 cents a year earlier.

NAV is a performance measure for investment companies that reflects the value of underlying assets excluding liabilities.

Brait has been under pressure in recent months as a weaker British pound eat into earnings measured in rand while weak consumer demand and tough competition in the UK’ high street has weighed on one of its biggest profit sources, New Look.

Brait slashed the carrying value of its New Look, which competes with the River Island and H&M, by about 80 percent to 7.1 billion rand.

That means New Look’s contribution to Brait’s group NAV fell to 15 percent from about 45 percent a year earlier.

“The promotion-led market in the UK and certain womenswear product challenges meant New Look had to discount more than planned to maintain inventories at a healthy level, impacting margins,” Brait said in a statement.

$1 = 12.7686 rand Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; editing by Jason Neely

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