Johannesburg – Retailer the Lewis Group [JSE:LEW] on Monday reported 10.6% increase in diluted headline earnings per share to 414.9 cents for the six months ended September from the previous corresponding period’s 374.9c.
"While trading conditions remained difficult over the past six months‚ merchandise sales have shown an improving growth trend‚" the household furniture‚ electrical appliances and home electronics retailer said in a note.
Merchandise sales grew 6.4% from the previous financial year’s increase of 3.3%.
The group’s revenue grew 6.6% to R2.4bn.
"Expenses were impacted by the refurbishment of 83 stores during the period as well as higher utility and fuel costs. A programme has been initiated to reduce fuel usage across the fleet to counter rising transport costs.
"Operating costs are traditionally higher in the first half of the year and are expected to normalise in the second half‚" the group said.
Lewis declared an interim dividend of 212c‚ a 23.3% improvement from the previous corresponding period’s interim dividend.
Trading conditions for the next financial period are expected to remain unchanged but the group expects sales to increase during the Christmas period.
“New merchandise ranges have been introduced and stores are well stocked in preparation for the Christmas trading period. Strong marketing and promotional campaigns have been developed to attract credit customers and drive sales growth in the current competitive environment‚” Lewis said.
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