August 24, 2017 / 5:38 AM / a year ago

Wal-Mart's South African unit Massmart H1 profit up 2.4 pct

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Massmart Holdings Ltd , Wal-Mart Store’s South African unit, reported a slight increase in half-year earnings on Wednesday, helped largely by cost cuts as cash-strapped consumers spent warily.

Diluted headline earnings per share (EPS) totaled 149.3 cents in the six months ended June, compared with 145.8 cents a year earlier, said Massmart, which sells everything from food and televisions to refrigerators.

Headline EPS, the most widely watched profit gauge in South Africa, strips out certain one-off items.

South African retailers have struggled to lift earnings at faster pace as consumers battling job losses and high personal debt levels held back on spending. (Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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