Bullish Clicks to open 40 new stores | Fin24
 
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Bullish Clicks to open 40 new stores

Apr 19 2018 08:55
Lameez Omarjee

Cape Town – Retail pharmacy group Clicks [JSE:CLS] plans to open 40 new stores this year, ahead of its target of 25 to 30 stores.

According the group’s interim financial results for the period ended February 2018, released on Thursday, Clicks grew its store footprint to 646 and opened 24 stores over the period. Clicks expanded its pharmacy network to 493 with the opening of 20 new pharmacies.

“Clicks is anticipated to continue its growth momentum and will be opening 40 new stores this year, well ahead of the target of 25 to 30 stores,” the group said in a notice to shareholders. 

Capital expenditure of R269m was invested in new stores, pharmacies, store refurbishments and enabling its supply chain and information technology capabilities. “A further R435m capital investment is planned for the second half," the statement read. 

The group noted an improvement in consumer confidence but expects consumer spending to remain constrained for the rest of the financial year. Clicks will rely on its brands to increase market share in the current environment, the group said.

Its retail health and beauty sales grew by 14.3% during the period. The group’s pharmaceutical distributor UPD maintained its operating margin and gained market share. Its retail health and beauty sales, including franchise brands The Body Shop, GNC and Claire’s increased by 14.3% as a result of the Christmas trading period, promotional offers and competitive pricing.

Clicks posted headline earnings growth (HEPS) of 14.8% to 266.3c. The group declared an interim dividend of 102.5c per share, up 16.5%.

Revenue increased by 10% to R14.4bn over the period. Operating profit was up 12.2% to over R942m while net profit was up 16.4% to R678m.

Total income grew by 11.7% to R3.9bn. The group’s income margin improved to 27.1% which was helped by the faster growth of its retail business.

The group’s retail expenses increased by 12.4% as it invested in 46 new stores, 34 pharmacies as well as space extensions in 24 stores over the past 12 months, Clicks said.

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