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Clothing retailer Edcon Q1 retail sales up 15%

13
Jul '06
Leading clothing, footwear and textiles (CFT) retailing group Edcon's Chief Executive Steve Ross updated the meeting on trading for the past three months as follows:

Consumer spending remains strong and retailers are still benefiting from low interest rates and real wage growth. As anticipated, the quarter under review has seen a mild easing of retail sales growth from last year"s exceptionally high levels.

The Edcon Board is pleased to report that total sales for the first three months have been in line with internal expectations and rose by 15 percent compared with the same period last year.

By chain, sales growth rates were as follows:

Sales Average
increase selling price
inflation

Edgars 15 1
CNA 31 9
Department Stores Division 16 1
Discount Division 13 (1)
Edcon Group 15 0

Pleasingly, having positioned all the chains optimally over the past few years, they have all achieved gross profit growth in excess of their respective sales increase. Similarly, diluted headline earnings per share for the first three months rose at a faster rate than sales. This was accomplished with a rise of 12 percent in average retail space for the quarter.

Inventory levels are appropriate in relation to projected future sales and seasonal winter merchandise has been cleared.


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