January 16, 2018 / 1:55 PM / a month ago

South African retailer TFG rallies on December sales jump

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The Foschini Group (TFG) reported a more than 30 percent jump in December sales, buoyed by recent British acquisitions, lifting the South African retailer’s share price by 5 percent.

The clothing and homeware retailer has expanded in developed markets, including the purchase of Britain’s Whistles in 2016 and Hobbs last year, as a weak economy, tighter credit rules and tough competition hampered growth in its home market.

That expansion helped to lift the international division’s December sales by nearly 64 percent, the company said on Tuesday.

“Following very strong Black Friday trade on November 24, December trading was pleasing and above management’s expectations,” it said, pointing to consolidated turnover growth for Nov. 26 to Dec. 30 up 31 percent.

For the nine months to Dec. 31, total sales including its African and international divisions were up 17.1 percent, TFG said without disclosing the total value.

Shares in TFG gained 5.4 percent to 181.27 rand by 1325 GMT, compared with a 0.7 percent rise for the JSE’s All-share index.

TFG’s trading update was more upbeat than those of its South African competitors as they contend with an economy forecast to have expanded by 0.7 percent in 2017.

Woolworths Holdings on Monday warned that its half-year profit could drop by as much as 17.5 percent.

Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by David Goodman

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