South African discount clothing retailer Mr Price reported a 51% rise in half-year profit, helped by a tentative recovery in consumer demand, but said the rate of growth was unlikely to continue.
Mr Price, which runs stores of the same name, said on Monday headline earnings per share totalled 153,3 cents in the six months to end-September, compared with 101,5 cents a year earlier.
Retailers in Africa’s biggest economy, which emerged from a recession in the third quarter of last year, have been squeezed as their customers battle with unemployment and high debt.
So far, retailers such as Mr Price, which target the lower end of the market are faring better than more upscale rivals such as Truworth and Foschini.
Mr Price said sales rose 11% to R4,8 billion while to the total retail sector grew 7% in the five months to August, according to official data.
The company said it did not expect the same level of growth in the second-half, because of higher base, but expected consumers to benefit from interest rates that are at their lowest since 1980.
Shares in Mr Price, which have surged 80% so far this year, were up 0,81% at 63,61 rand.