Retail healthcare big Clicks on Wednesday famous in a voluntary trading update that pharmacy gross sales in South Africa “have been negatively impacted because the nation has not skilled a conventional winter chilly and flu season”.
The group didn’t point out the extent of the influence, nonetheless, it highlighted that the chilly and flu is usually a powerful driver of gross sales progress for the corporate.
“The incidence of colds and flu has been restricted as South Africans are sporting face masks throughout the pandemic, social interplay has been restricted, education restricted and enormous numbers of individuals are working from dwelling,” it identified.
Regardless of the knock to pharmacy gross sales, Clicks reported that whole retail gross sales grew by 6.3% for the 23-week interval from March 1 to August 9 this yr. The comparatively sturdy efficiency within the face of Covid-19, noticed its share price rise greater than 5% (to round R241) in noon commerce on Wednesday.
Clicks mentioned that group turnover elevated by 10% to R32.Three billion within the 49 weeks to 9 August 2020.
“Clicks Group presents the next replace to supply perception into the group’s buying and selling efficiency towards the background of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant nationwide lockdown. This 23-week interval covers buying and selling from the beginning of the second half of the group’s monetary yr, together with the interval instantly earlier than the nation entered various ranges of lockdown from 27 March 2020, and the next 4 months of buying and selling,” it famous in its buying and selling assertion.
The group added that retail well being and sweetness gross sales, together with Clicks and the franchise manufacturers of The Physique Store, GNC and Claire’s, elevated by 7.7% over the corresponding 23 weeks within the earlier yr.
This contributed to the group’s general retail gross sales progress of 6.3% for the interval.
“As a vital healthcare service supplier Clicks has traded all through the lockdown interval, though [the group] has been restricted to shorter buying and selling hours and was restricted to promoting solely important merchandise beneath lockdown stage 5 till 30 April 2020,” it mentioned.
“Buying and selling patterns shifted as buyer buying behaviour modified in response to the varied lockdown stage restrictions and shoppers selected to remain dwelling to scale back the chance of contracting Covid-19,” it famous.
“On-line gross sales in Clicks have proven important progress for the reason that begin of lockdown. The funding made in its on-line and digital functionality over the previous 4 years enabled the model to handle the elevated demand and guarantee an environment friendly and handy service to clients,” the group added.
Clicks mentioned that whereas it has skilled a decline within the frequency of buyer visits throughout the lockdown, the common basket worth of products offered has elevated throughout this time.
“The decline in footfall at tremendous regional and regional malls throughout the nation has impacted gross sales in vacation spot shops. Nevertheless, Clicks is nicely positioned on this atmosphere with over 70% of its shops positioned in comfort and neighbourhood buying centres,” it identified.
The group mentioned that it expects diluted headline earnings per share for the yr ending 31 August 2020 to extend by between 10% and 15% over the 663.6 cents for the 2019 monetary yr to between 730 and 763 cents. It famous that the determine for 2019 was restated following the adoption of IFRS 16.
“The expansion in earnings is supported by the group’s tight price administration, continued working capital effectivity and the efficiency of UPD [United Pharmaceutical Distributors] which gained new contracts and traded strongly all year long,” it famous.