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Sasria pays Clicks R217m of KZN claim

| Crime and security

South Africa’s leading beauty, health and lifestyle retailer Clicks yesterday dimmed its earnings forecast as sales in the last seven weeks of the financial year ended August 2021 were significantly impacted by the civil unrest in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

Clicks store

Dineo Faku | IOL

Clicks said 52 Clicks stores and one branch of The Body Shop store were looted and vandalised, representing 6 percent of the group’s store base during the mayhem in parts of Gauteng and KZN in July, costing the company R726 million.

“In addition to the store closures due to damages and the temporary store closures at the peak of the violence, trading in the affected areas remains well below the levels of the previous year and this is expected to continue in the short term,” said the group.

Clicks said out of the total R726m South African Special Risks Insurance Association (Sasria) claim owing to the violent protests, Sasria had made its first interim insurance payment of R217m.

“Owing to the impact of the civil unrest outlined above and the fact that only 30 percent of the total Sasria insurance claim has been accounted for to date, the group expects headline earnings a share for the year ended August 31, 2021, to increase by 0 percent to 3 percent,” said the group.

In April Clicks had said that diluted headline earnings per share for the financial year ending August 31 was expected to increase by between 8 and 13 percent over the 2020 financial year.

Clicks said currently 11 stores remained and it expected that a further five would be reopened by the end of the first half of the 2022 financial year and four in the second half with the final two damaged stores scheduled to open in the 2023 financial year.

The group said United Pharmaceutical Distributors (UPD) and Clicks distribution centres in KZN were both looted and damaged, and reopened on

July 26 and August 16, respectively.

The group incurred additional costs for private security services to protect the distribution centres as well as air transportation costs to supply medicines from Johannesburg to UPD customers in KZN.

Clicks said it was not yet possible to quantify the full impact of business interruption on the group’s revenue and profitability as the timing of the reopening of stores was dependent on shopping centre owners.

Group turnover from continuing operations increased by 10.2 percent compared with 10.5 percent in 2020, said Clicks.

In terms of vaccines, Clicks said its vaccination programme continued to gain momentum and as at August 31, 2021, Clicks was operating 300 vaccination sites and had administered 596 180 jabs nationally.

“Clicks plans to open a further 268 sites in the coming weeks, with 568 sites expected to be operating by the end of September 2021. This will give Clicks the capacity to administer approximately 615 000 vaccinations each month,” said the group.

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