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Fashion firm Edcon H1 sales jump 28%

25
Nov '05
Fashion retailing firm Edcon announced another buoyant set of results for the six months ended 1 October 2005. The company reported fully diluted headline earnings per share for the period of 109 cents, up 28 percent, and declared a dividend for the first half of 62 cents per share, up 27 percent on the same period last year.

The 28 percent growth rate was for 26 weeks versus 27 weeks in the prior year. The comparable growth for the 26 weeks in fully diluted headline earnings per share was 40 percent. These increases were achieved after accounting for the 5 percent dilution from the Staff Empowerment Transaction announced in June 2005.

These results continue to confirm the sustainability of their customer-centric strategy. It is particularly gratifying that, in addition to benefiting from the strong consumer environment, Edcon has once again reported growth ahead of the overall market.

CEO Steve Ross stated that this is evidenced by their market share for the six months which, according to the Retailers' Liaison Committee (RLC), increased to 31 percent from 29.5 percent a year ago. The Group announced retail sales growth of 22 percent over the previous year. Sales growth on a comparable week's basis was 27 percent.

The gross profit margin declined to 38.1 percent from 40 percent due to the lower-margin Discount division growing at a faster rate than the Department store division; higher markdowns than last year on seasonal winter merchandise and the out-performance of cellular sales. This decline was, however, more than offset by continued improvements in operational efficiencies which translated into an increase in the operating margin to 11.3 percent from 10.6 percent.


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