August 28, 2014 / 6:00 AM / 3 years ago

Wal-Mart's South African unit Massmart says H1 profit down 25 pct

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 28 (Reuters) - South African retailer Massmart reported a 25.2 percent fall in half-year profit on Thursday as debt-laden consumers battling rising living costs cut back on spending.

Massmart, majority-owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc, said diluted headline earnings per share totalled 166.4 cents in the six months ended June compared with 222.6 cents a year earlier.

Headline EPS, the main profit measure in South Africa, strips out certain one-off items.

Sales rose 10 percent to 35.7 billion rand ($3.36 billion) for the 26 weeks ended June 29.

Retailers are among the worst-performing stocks in Johannesburg over the past 12 months, reflecting investor fears about the impact of tepid economic growth, rising fuel prices and high household debt on consumer spending.

1 US dollar = 10.6130 South African rand Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee

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