In a recent announcement, Shoprite Holdings, Africa’s largest supermarket group, which is partly owned by South African billionaire Christo Wiese, revealed its optimistic outlook for the end of its 2023 fiscal year, projecting merchandise sales to surpass an impressive $12 billion.
According to the group’s operational update, merchandise sales are expected to increase by 16.9 percent from R183.9 billion ($10.45 billion) in 2022 to R215 billion ($12.22 billion) by the end of the current fiscal year.
Supermarkets RSA, the group’s South African core business, has been a major contributor, achieving a remarkable sales growth of 17.8 percent, amounting to nearly $9.9 billion and accounting for approximately 80.8 percent of the Group’s overall sales.
The boost in sales for Shoprite was further complemented by the performance of LiquorShop, which experienced a 30.8-percent increase.
The first half of the year saw sales growth of 35.6 percent due to elevated demand during the COVID-19 lockdown closures in the previous year. The second half maintained strong momentum, with sales growing by 25.9 percent.
Throughout the fiscal period, the group expanded its reach, adding a net of 340 stores to its operations, bringing the total number of stores to 3,324.
Supermarkets RSA accounted for a significant portion of this expansion, opening a net of 301 stores, including 92 stores acquired from purchasing Massmart Holdings Limited, a well-established South African retail and wholesale conglomerate founded by Mark Lamberti.
Sales growth was not limited to South Africa, as the group’s units outside the country experienced a robust increase of 16.4 percent, contributing 9.1 percent to the overall group sales. Additionally, the segment saw a net increase of two stores, resulting in a total of 228 stores operating across nine different countries.
Shoprite Holdings Limited, the leading food retailer in South Africa, is Africa’s largest retailer, with a presence in over 2,900 locations across the continent. The company currently employs more than 140,000 people.
Notably, Wiese has played a vital role in the company’s expansion.
Wiese owns an 11.63-percent stake in the company, amounting to 305.6 million non-convertible, non-participating, no-par value deferred shares, granting him 32.2 percent of Shoprite’s voting rights.
With Shoprite shares trading at R248.21 ($14.11) per share, the group’s total market capitalization is currently valued at R144 billion ($8.17 billion). As a result, Wiese’s 11.63-percent stake in the group is worth R16.75 billion ($952 million), further cementing his position as one of the leading investors on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
The projected sales growth and positive financial outlook reinforce Shoprite’s prominent position in the African retail market, demonstrating the company’s resilience and adaptability in the face of challenging circumstances.