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S.Africa's Foschini FY profit up 11 pct, lags consensus
May 30, 2013 / 12:52 PM / in 4 years

S.Africa's Foschini FY profit up 11 pct, lags consensus

JOHANNESBURG, May 30 (Reuters) - The Foschini Group , South Africa’s No.3 listed clothing retailer, missed estimates with an 11 percent rise in full-year profit as debt-laden consumers cut back on spending.

Foschini, which also sells jewellery and furniture, said diluted headline earnings per share totalled 851.3 cents in the year to end-March compared with 766.1 cents a year earlier.

The result fell short of the 859 cents estimatd by Thomson Reuters StarMine, which gives more weight to forecasts from historically accurate analysts.

Headline EPS, the primary measure of profit in South Africa, exclude certain one-off items.

Sales rose 11 percent to 12.8 billion rand ($1.31 billion).

Shares in the Cape Town-based company, which are down about 8 percent this year, were little changed at 108.50 GMT, lagging behind a 1.3 percent gain on the JSE All-share index.

After more than two years as investors’ darlings, South African retailers are falling out favour as doubts creep in about the health of debt-fuelled consumer spending and views that share prices have been pushed to unjustifiably high levels.

South African industry-wide retail sales slowed 2.8 percent year-on-year in March from 3.9 percent in February, official data showed.

Foschini, which sells the bulk of its products on credit, said net bad debt as a percentage of its debtors’ book increased to 10.5 percent from 9.4 percent in the previous year.

The company said it plans to open 150 new stores this year.

$1 = 9.7870 South African rand Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; editing by David Dolan

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