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Clicks commits to long-term growth

| Economic factors

Clicks Group said it would continue to invest for long-term growth, with record capital expenditure of R432m planned for the year ahead.

The retailer said it would open 20-25 new stores and 25-35 new pharmacies; 50 stores would be refurbished.

In the year ended August 2015, Clicks reported a 14% rise in diluted headline earnings per share (HEPS) to 383.9c. Group turnover climbed 15.3% to R22.1bn and operating profit increased 14.6% to R1.4bn compared with the year-earlier period.

"The Clicks Group has delivered another good trading performance in a difficult economic climate where consumers remain under financial pressure. All the group’s retail brands reported real volume growth and the Clicks chain has continued to gain share of the health and beauty markets. UPD now has market-leading positions in both the pharmaceutical wholesale and distribution markets," the company said.

The group declared a final gross dividend of 169.5c per share and one of 23.5c per ordinary "A" share.

Looking ahead, Clicks said consumer spending was unlikely to improve in the short term, which meant the retail trading environment would remain constrained.

"However, the group has a portfolio of strong, market-leading brands, which have the capacity to increase market share over the medium term. Management is confident of the group’s ability to continue to generate cash and to achieve its medium-term financial targets," the company said.

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