July 21, 2017 / 1:40 PM / 8 months ago

South African retailer Truworths flags stalling profit growth

JOHANNESBURG, July 21 (Reuters) - South Africa’s Truworths International expects full-year profit to remain stable or edge lower, the fashion retailer said on Friday, as its home market slips into recession.

Retailers in Africa’s most advanced economy have nearly all complained of tough trading conditions as consumer sentiment plumbs multi-year lows and high unemployment and inflation gnaws at disposable income in the nation’s first recession in eight years.

Truworths expects diluted headline earnings per share to remain stable or decrease by as much as 3 percent year on year, to between 646 cents and 666 cents per share, the company said in a statement.

Headline earnings per share is the main profit measure in South Africa and strips out certain one-off items.

Massmart, Wal-Mart Stores’ African unit, flagged slower half-year sales growth this week, with food and liquor revenue propping up a decline in general merchandise.

Africa’s largest retailer Shoprite also said that “subdued durable purchases” weighed on its furniture division and warned that tough trading conditions had continued into the second half of its financial year.

Upmarket food and clothing retailer Woolworths last week cited difficult trading conditions and flagged an expected drop in full-year profit. (Reporting by TJ Strydom; Editing by David Goodman)

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