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Dis-Chem shares dive almost 10% after results

Dis-Chem Pharmacies reported 13.3% growth in group turnover to R19.6bn, boosted by the opening of 21 new stores, the retailer said on Friday as it released its results for the year to end-February 2018.

The new stores bring the total number of Dis-Chem outlets across the country to 129.

Earnings per share rose by 6.1% to 79.6 cents compared to the previous year, while headline earnings accelerated by 6.6% to the same amount.

Dis-Chem's share price took a beating, dropping 9.95% to R31.78 by 15:15 o the JSE.

CEO Ivan Saltzman said this performance is in line with expectations set out during the company's listing process in November 2016.

"Although consumer spend remains constrained, we continue to see growth opportunities across all channels of the market in which we operate,” said Saltzman.

The retailer said it expects the resilient markets in which it operates to “offer protection against the weak environment”.

Dis-Chem is a specialist retailer in beauty, health food, sport supplements, health and well-being products. It faces stiff competition from Clicks and a range of supermarkets which have added pharmacies into their operations.

The group’s total income increased by 13.3% to R5.46bn from the prior comparable period.

It revealed that it sold 50% of its interest in Oncology Proprietary Limited for R75m, and 10% of its interest in Dis-Chem Maponya Mall in Soweto for R1m.

The company said it plans on adding more retail stores and scale, as it looks to increase its market share.

Net finance costs fell by 28.9% to R160m from the prior comparative period. The decrease is primarily due to the settlement of R153m of term debt in the financial year.

Dis-Chem will pay a gross final cash dividend of 12.736c/share for the year ended February 28 2018, based on 40% of adjusted headline earnings.

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