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Massmart full-year sales jump

| Retailer trading results

Retailer Massmart Holdings reported a 10.4% jump in full-year sales on Thursday as its consumer goods, liquor and home improvement supplies business posted better performance.

Massmart, majority owned by Walmart Stores, however said net interest paid from funding several property acquisitions in 2013-2014 led to a 10.2% drop in headline earnings.

Sales climbed to R78.2bn for the 52 weeks ended December 28.

Massdiscounters, which includes general merchandise discounter Game that operates in 11 African countries and high tech retailer, DionWired, with 23 stores, reported a 10.2% increase in sales, the company said in a statement.

Industry-wide retail sales in South Africa rose 3.4% year-on-year in December, above market expectations and higher than a revised 2.5% expansion in November.

Massmart said expansion in sub-Saharan Africa is a "priority" and it plans to open 13 new stores, but is concerned about sales in South Africa and in oil revenue dependent countries such as Ghana and Nigeria, where it operates.

"We remain concerned by the relatively fragile South African consumer economy and we are cautious about the impact of lower oil prices on those larger African countries with some dependency on oil revenues," the statement said.

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