South Africa's Massmart FY profit up, meets expectations

JOHANNESBURG Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:05am EST

JOHANNESBURG Feb 27 (Reuters) - South African retailer Massmart met expectations with a one-third rise in full-year profit on Thursday, boosted by an extra trading week and favourable currency swings as debt-laden consumers rein In spending.

The African unit of Wal-Mart Stores Inc said diluted headline EPS totalled 608 cents in the year to end-December, largely in line with a 600-cent estimate in a Reuters poll of 11 analysts.

Headline EPS, the most widely watched profit measure in South Africa, strips out certain one-off items. Excluding an extra week and foreign exchange, headline EPS inched up 7.7 percent.

Sales rose nearly 10 percent to 72.5 billion rand ($6.70 billion).

Retailers in Africa's biggest economy are among the worst- performing stocks in the past 12 months, reflecting investors' fears about the impact on consumer spending of tepid economic growth, rising fuel prices and high household debt.