JOHANNESBURG Jan 15 South African retailer
Massmart Holdings Ltd largely met consensus with a near
10 percent rise in full-year sales on Wednesday, sending its
shares up as much as 4 percent.
Massmart, majority owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc,
said sales rose 9.7 percent to 72.2 billion rand in the 53 weeks
to Dec. 29, broadly in line with a 9.4 percent growth estimate
by 10 analysts polled by Reuters.
Shares in the company surged as much as 4 percent shortly
after the news. By 0911 GMT, the stock was up 2.6 percent at
128.26 rand, outpacing a flat JSE All-share index.
South African retailers were among the worst performing
stocks last year amid fears high household debt, tentative
economic growth and job losses would hit consumer spending.
Industry-wide retail sales grew 1.3 percent year-on-year in
October, official data showed on Wednesday, slightly above a 1.2
percent growth economists polled by Reuters had expected.