Jan 14, 2004


(Incorporated in the Republic of South Africa) 
Registration number 1936/007721/06 
ISIN ZAE000012084 
JSE share code SHP


During the six months to 31 December 2003, the Shoprite Group increased turnover over the previous year by 5.6% to R13,4 billion. 

These figures should be read against the background of the negative effect on sales of the nationwide strike in October and November 2003 following the implementation of the new Sectoral Wage Determination Act. 

Despite these constraints, satisfactory growth was nevertheless achieved by the Checkers brand with a like-for-like increase in turnover for the six months to end December of 8.0% (total growth of 7.3% due to the closure of three stores). 

Total sales growth in Shoprite stores, negatively influenced by inflation of less than 1% due to their customer profile and product mix, was 6.5%. Stores closed during the strike were mostly Shoprite outlets. December saw stronger sales growth of 8.9% when the chain started regaining market share lost during the industrial action. 

Due to the tough economic conditions reigning in the market the satisfactory increase of 5.9% in customer numbers was not matched by basket growth which, for Shoprite, was 1.1% and for Checkers 2.8%. 

New supermarkets opened during the reporting period have not as yet contributed significantly to sales. 

The non-RSA operations performed well with sales growth of 23.0% on like-for-like and 33.0% on total sales at constant conversion rates. The strength of the Rand, however, resulted in sales in Rand terms dipping 2.2% for the period. New stores performed satisfactorily with Angola outperforming budget. 

The U-Save division is now well established with a total of 41 stores currently trading. 

Good growth of 23.0% (like for like 18.6%) were recorded for the Furniture division despite the drop in selling prices in most categories due to a stronger Rand. 

The above financial information has not been reviewed or reported on by the Shoprite Holdings auditors. Shareholders are advised to exercise caution in dealing with the company’s shares until the interim results for the six months to 31 December 2003 are published on 17 February 2004. 

Whitey Basson, CEO (Tel no 021-980 4444) or Carel Goosen, Deputy Managing Director (Tel no 021-980 4065). 

Date issued : 13 January 2004 
Sponsor : Nedcor Securities

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