Johannesburg – Retail group Spar is bracing for “unprecedented” pressure on consumers as result of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the virus already partially responsible for profits falling by more than a quarter in its half-year to end-March.
The pandemic has shuttered stores all over the world, while the group has also seen a prohibition of liquor sales in SA. Spar warned that it is expecting food prices to rise, and their management is focused on the group’s supply chains.
Group turnover rose 10.1% to R59.7bn, but the group said it had decided on a “conservative” approach to its dividend, cutting its interim dividend 29.6% to 200c.
“Given the important role we play in food wholesale and retail, contingency plans are essential to ensure the robustness of our supply chains and our management are actively focused on this,” the group said.
“There is no doubt that the world is changing, and against the backdrop of this pandemic, our businesses will continue to adapt to changing consumer behaviour.”