Massmart CFO, confirms retailer is making greater moves into Africa

South Africa's current economic and retail situation has prompted Massmart to look for more opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Through its Game, Builders Warehouse and DionWired brands the retailer already has exposure to markets including Botswana, Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique and Zambia. Massmart grew total sales by 8.4% to R84.7 billion for the year to 27 December 2015 and reported growth of 6.7% in comparable stores, while gross margins grew to 18.9%, compared with 18.6% in the previous year. For the period under review Massmart opened five stores outside South Africa, raising its total number of stores to 38. The retailer plans to open a further five stories outside South Africa over the next two years. Johannes van Lierop, Massmart CFO, was quoted in the media as saying that the recently opened stores would boost the company’s full year 2016 results. However, the retailer has said it sees the pace of expansion into the continent as moderate and measured. Van Lierop said:

"We have always maintained a measured pace in store roll-outs, translating to about three or four stores a year. There will be this kind of pace going into the future."

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