February 10, 2017 / 7:05 AM / 9 months ago

New stores lift South Africa's Dis-Chem turnover

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 10 (Reuters) - South African drugstore chain Dis-Chem Pharmacies said on Friday group turnover rose 13 percent for the five-months ended January 2017, buoyed by its newly opened stores, and said it expected to add a further 21 in 2018.

* The firm, which made its debut on the Johannesburg stock exchange in November, is on an expansion drive that will see it add more than 200 stores as it looks to take on larger retail rival Clicks Group.

* Dis-Chem said group turnover rose 13 percent to 7.32 billion rand ($545 million) following the opening of eight stores in November, while its retail division turnover rose 14.3 percent to 6.71 billion rand, the company said in a statement.

* “Trading over the period was in line with our expectations. We are pleased with the trading figures coming out of the eight new stores opened over a ten-day period in November,” said Chief executive Ivan Saltzman.

* The firm said it will open 21 new stores by the end of 2018 financial year to expand its footprint.

* “This new space, together with maturing space within the existing store footprint, is expected to drive strong retail and comparable store growth in the years ahead,” Saltzman said. (1 = 13.4281 rand) (Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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