(Adds detail, CEO comment)
Oct 18 South African retailer Pick n Pay Stores
Ltd on Tuesday posted a 23.7 percent rise in half-year
profit as it continued to cut costs in a tough trading
* Headline earnings per share (HEPS) - increased 23.7
percent to 82.43 cents from 66.62 cents per share for the
half-year to end-August.
* "The Pick n Pay turnaround plan remains firmly on track.
We are improving our shopping trip, introducing more products,
becoming ever more efficient, and reducing our costs," Chief
Executive Richard Brasher said in a statement.
* In a tough trading environment with sluggish economic
growth, depressed consumer confidence and heightened
competition, the firm said it improved trading profit margin to
1.5 percent from 1.3 percent of turnover.
* Pick n Pay, which also trades in Namibia, Zimbabwe and
Zambia, said it is on track with developing its operations in
Ghana and Nigeria; with its first Ghana store to open towards
the end of 2017 and first Nigeria store in 2018.
* Group turnover at 37.4 billion rand, increased 7.2 percent
on last year.
* Headline EPS is the main profit measure in South Africa
and strips out certain one-off items.
* Directors have declared an interim gross dividend of 29.90
cents per share out of income reserves.
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(Reporting by TJ Strydom; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)