Massmart said on Thursday its first-half headline loss widened to R1.1-billion, as sales at its stores fell due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The company, majority-owned by Walmart and operator of supermarkets and wholesalers, including Makro and Game, said in a statement its headline loss, the main earnings measure in South Africa, dropped by 36% in the six months to June 28 from a headline loss of R800-million in first half of 2019.
Sales fell by 9.7% to R39.6-billion, with comparable store sales decreasing by the same amount, impacted by trading restrictions on liquor, tobacco, building materials, DIY and general merchandise products like TV sets.
Online sales, however, surged by 95% as consumers shied away from shopping in store to avoid the coronavirus.
The retailer, operating 420 retail and wholesale stores in 13 African countries, impaired certain Game, Cambridge and wholesale Cash & Carry stores resulting in impairment expenses of R55.5-million during the period.
It also incurred restructuring costs of R47.4-million rand following the closure of all of its electronic retail chain DionWired stores and 11 Cambridge and wholesale Cash & Carry stores. — Reported by Nqobile Dludla, (c) 2020 Reuters