CLICKS: 19,311 0 (0.00%)
South Africa's Dis-Chem annual profit misses estimates
(Adds result details, industrial strike impact, share price
JOHANNESBURG, May 16 (Reuters) - South African drugstore
chain Dis-Chem Pharmacies Ltd's full-year earnings rose
by less than expected, the company said on Thursday, as
prolonged industrial action offset the impact of price cuts and
Dis-Chem said headline earnings per share (HEPS) climbed to
85.4 cents in the year ended February from 79.6 cents per share
a year earlier, but they still fell short of an average
analysts' estimate of 87 cents from Refinitiv I/B/E/S.
Headline EPS, which strips out certain one-off items, is the
most widely watched profit measure in South Africa.
"Unfortunately, the industrial action which began
mid-November last year heavily impacted the group's performance
in the current financial period," the firm said in a statement.
This translated to slower retail revenue growth of 9.7% to
19.6 billion rand, with comparable store revenue growth at 3.4%.
Wholesale revenue grew by 11.2% to 14.5 billion rand.
Comparable store revenue was hurt by competitive pricing
across the personal care and baby sectors, and by a Department
of Health decision to implement only a small rise in the maximum
price Dis-Chem is allowed by law to charge for some products.
At 0718 GMT, shares in Dis-Chem were down 3.4 percent at
About 2,300 Dis-Chem employees belonging to the National
Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (NUPSAW) went on a
national strike from November until April, demanding among other
things a rise in the minimum wage.
Dis-Chem, which competes with Clicks Group, said as
a result of the strike it incurred direct costs of 50.4 million
rand and indirect costs of between 22.3 million rand and 26
($1 = 14.2436 rand)
(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; editing by Gopakumar Warrier and
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