February 22, 2018 / 3:52 PM / 6 months ago

South Africa's Truworths posts flat first-half retail sales growth

Feb 22 (Reuters) - South African clothes retailer Truworths on Thursday reported flat retail sales growth in the first-half, which it blamed on a challenging trading period marred by political uncertainty in its home market.

The company, which also runs the British footwear chain Office, said retail sales for the 26-week period ended Dec. 31 rose to 10.3 billion rand ($884.69 million), from 10.2 billion rand a year ago.

Retailers in South Africa are facing tough trading conditions as consumer sentiment hits multi-year lows and high unemployment and inflation erode disposable incomes in the country’s first recession in eight years.

Diluted headline earnings per share, a widely watched profit measure in South Africa, strips out certain one-off, non-trading items, fell 3 percent to 379.3 cents. ($1 = 11.6425 rand) (Reporting by Radhika Rukmangadhan in Bengaluru. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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