South Africa Shoprite H1 profit up 8 pct, Africa outlets robust

JOHANNESBURG Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:24am EST

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JOHANNESBURG Feb 25 (Reuters) - South African retailer Shoprite reported an 8 percent increase in half-year profit on Tuesday, helped by a robust showing from stores outside its struggling home market.

Africa's biggest grocer with stores in several countries such as Nigeria, Mozambique and Zambia said headline EPS totalled 341 cents in the six months to end December compared with 315.9 cents a year earlier.

Headline EPS, the most widely watched profit measure in South Africa, strips out certain one-off items.

Sales rose 9.7 percent to 51 billion rand ($4.70 billion)with sales from its sub-Saharan outlets surging by about a third - more than three times the growth rate at home.

Overstretched South African consumers are cutting back on spending, forcing retailers to look to the rest of Africa to boost returns but their expansion has been slow due to lack of shopping malls and other infrastructure. ($1 = 10.8545 South African rand) (Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Ed Stoddard)

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