S.Africa's Shoprite FY profit growth lags consensus, shares tumble

JOHANNESBURG Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:21am EDT

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JOHANNESBURG Aug 19 (Reuters) - South African grocer Shoprite Holdings missed estimates with a 3.3 percent rise in full-year profit on Tuesday as consumers battling high personal debt and rising prices cut spending.

Africa's biggest retailer said diluted headline earnings per share totaled 697.6 cents in the year ended June, well below 729 cents estimate in Reuters poll of 16 analysts.

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

Shares in the company tumbled more than 4.2 percent to 147.79 rand by 0912 GMT, lagging a slightly higher JSE Top-40 index

Retailers in Africa's most advanced 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.

Sales increased 10.5 percent to 102.2 billion rand (9.61 billion US dollar). (1 US dollar = 10.6340 South African rand) (Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Ed Stoddard)

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