Johannesburg - Clicks Group [JSE:CLS]
on Tuesday said it increased sales by 8.1% in the 18 weeks to January 1 2012.
Comparable sales grew by 4.2% with selling price inflation of only 0.4% - this affected the pharmacy category in particular, with deflation in prescription medicines.
The company opened 13 new stores during the period.
Musica's sales declined 5.2%, driven by significant deflation of 6.3%, as well as the net closure of 10 stores versus the prior period. The Body Shop grew sales by 10.1%, benefiting from its loyalty programme and a stronger gifting range.
Total retail sales increased by 6.7% and 3.5% on a comparable store basis.
UPD increased wholesale turnover by 3.6%, showing real growth given the faster growth in sales of lower value generic medicines. Total sales for the group increased by 4.9% to R5.3bn.
Group chief executive David Kneale said a key feature of the reporting period was selling price deflation, which averaged -0.3% during the period.