Progress has been made on tight fiscal control and greater organisational and operating efficiency, with productivity and other improvements keeping like-for-like costs well below the level of inflation.
While the gap between Pick n Pay’s growth and market growth in South Africa in 2013 was 2.5%, this has now narrowed to 0.7%.
Group turnover increased by 7.7% to R63.1bn. Like-for-like turnover growth was 2.7% and net new stores contributed 5.0%, with trading space growing a net 3.4% over the year. Like-for-like growth at overall point of sale level was stronger, with like-for-like till sales from both owned and franchise stores growing by 3.5%.
Segmental revenue outside South Africa grew by 27.9% to R3.2 billion and like-for-like segmented revenue increased by 9.4%. Profit before tax was up 55.6% to R140.4m. Good growth was achieved in Zambia, and the company has installed a team on the ground in Nigeria to explore opportunities in that market.
The Group declared a total dividend per share for the year of 92.30 cents, up 9.9% on the prior year, in line with the Group’s policy to moderate the dividend cover to 1.5 times headline earnings per share.
Basic earnings per share increased 6.0% from 115.14 to 122.01 cents per share. The new 52-week reporting calendar resulted in the current reporting period being four trading days fewer than the prior year.