Johannesburg - Building materials retailer Cashbuild [JSE:CSB]
said on Tuesday that its diluted headline earnings per share dropped 22% to 278.8 cents for the interim period to December 2010, from 355.7c.
For the period under review, revenue increased 7% to R2.98bn from R2.80bn, while operating profit fell 1% to R116.05m from R117.36m.
It declared an interim dividend of 157c (2009: 106 cents), despite a 24% decrease in diluted earnings per share to 273.4 cents from 360.3c.
Stores in existence since the beginning of July 2009 (180 pre-existing stores) accounted for 4% of the increase in revenue, with the remaining 3% increase due to the 12 new stores the group had opened since July 2009, Cashbuild said.
This increase for the year had been achieved in tough trading conditions with selling price inflation of 2%, it said.
"The growth in customer transactions of 5% (of which 2% is from the existing store base) is encouraging and bodes well for the future," it said.
Despite the competitive environment, the gross profit percentage margin increased to 22.3% during this period and was 2% higher in percentage terms than the 20.3% achieved for the comparative period of the prior year.
"The first nine trading weeks since year-end have reported an increase in revenue of 5% on that of the comparable nine weeks. It is anticipated that gross profit percentage margins will be under pressure during the trading second half," it said.