May 15, 2020 / 7:15 AM / 21 days ago

SPAR flags losses at Polish business to hit half-year earnings; shares fall

(Reuters) - South African retailer and wholesaler SPAR Group (SPPJ.J) on Friday warned of lower half-year headline earnings, due to losses at its Polish business that was under restructuring, sending its shares down over 2% in early trade.

The grocery chain, which also sells building materials and medicines, said headline earnings per share (HEPS) was expected to be 17% to 27% lower between 434.6 cents and 382.2 cents for the six months to March 31.

HEPS is the most widely used profit measure in South Africa.

SPAR, which has been expanding in Europe amid a weak economy at home but ran into troubles in newer markets such as Ireland and Switzerland, completed the acquisition of a controlling stake in Polish deli and supermarket chain Piotr i Pawel group less than a year ago.

However, the company added that excluding the impact of the Polish business, group delivered strong results with a revenue growth of 10.1%.

Reporting by Indranil Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Rashmi Aich

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