Johannesburg - Shares of Spar Group [JSE:SPP] tumbled 3.2% to R122.88 after the supermarket chain reported full-year earnings that fell short of market expectations.
Spar says diluted headline earnings rose 9.3% in the year to end-September, to 571 cents per share.
That missed market expectations by nearly 5%, according to a poll of 12 analysts by Thomson Reuters, which had forecast a result of 598 cents per share.
The results represent Spar's biggest earnings surprise since the year to September 2008, when its earnings beat Thomson Reuters estimates by nearly 8%.
“Trading for the year under review was impacted by an unsettled political and labour scenario‚ consumer spending still under some pressure and a highly competitive food retail environment. The group has‚ nevertheless‚ produced a solid set of financial results for the year‚” Spar said in a statement.
Revenue grew to R43.5bn from the previous period’s R38.8bn and turnover increased 12.2% to R43.2bn.
“Spar retailers again performed well with retail turnover of R53.7bn up 11.5%‚ which drove wholesale turnover up by 11.0% to R35.5bn‚” it said.
The group declared an annual dividend of 430 cents per share‚ a 14.1% rise from the previous period’s dividend.
Spar expects trading conditions to continue to be subdued with low economic growth forecast and consumer spending remaining under pressure.
“The consumer is likely to be further affected by rising food prices forecast in the 2013 financial year‚” Spar said.