October 17, 2018 / 6:15 AM / in 2 months

UPDATE 1-South African pharmacy group Dis-Chem profit up as market share increases

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JOHANNESBURG, Oct 17 (Reuters) - South African pharmacy group Dis-Chem’s half-year profit on a per share basis rose 10.5 percent as it lifted its market share across all divisions.

The drugstore chain said diluted headline earnings per share (HEPS) was 51.7 cents, compared with 46.8 cents per share for the six-month period ended August 2017.

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

Dis-Chem said the 1 percent VAT increase in April along with the fuel price increases had dampened trading in April and July.

“Subsequently, we have seen trading improvements in August and then again in September, suggesting consumer confidence is improving slightly,” Chief Executive Ivan Saltzman said in a statement.

Group turnover grew by 9.4 percent to 10.5 billion rand ($738.78 million) from 9.6 billion rand.

Dis-Chem declared a gross dividend of 20.69 cents per share. ($1 = 14.2126 rand) (Reporting by Patricia Aruo; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Louise Heavens)

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