* Headline EPS to be range 312-341 cents vs 416 cents
* Results hit by transaction costs
JOHANNESBURG Feb 18 Walmart's South
African unit, Massmart Holdings, said on Monday
first-half profit likely fell by as much as 25 percent, hit
mainly by costs related to its deal with the world's biggest
Massmart said headline earnings per share would come in
between 312 cents and 341 cents for the six months to
end-December, or as much as 25 percent lower than the 416 cents
it reported a year earlier.
A South African court last year ordered Massmart to double a
planned fund to develop local suppliers to 240 million rand ($27
million) to win regulatory approval for Wal-Mart's acquisition.
Wal-Mart paid $2.4 billion for 51 percent of Massmart.
Excluding that cost, the company said headline EPS would
have shown single-digit growth, reflecting tight margins from an
aggressive cut-price strategy to double market share in food
Headline EPS, the main measure of profit in South Africa,
excludes certain one-time items.
Massmart, South Africa's third-largest retailer by value, is
expanding into food retailing, pitting it against dominant
grocers such as Shoprite and Pick n Pay.
The company aims to take its grocery market share to as much
as 20 percent in the next few years from 10 percent now.
Massmart is due to report the full results on February 28.
Shares of Massmart finished up 1.8 percent at 189.26 rand
before the announcement.