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Clicks UK franchises show strong sales growth

| Supplier news

Clicks reported on Thursday that group revenue was up 9.6% to R25.5bn for the year to end-August.

The company, which operates its flagship pharmacy chain as well as various retail brands along with medicine wholesaler UPS, said aftertax profit grew 14.6% to R1.1bn. A final dividend of R1.96 was declared, taking its dividend for the year to R2.72, 15.7% higher than the previous year’s R2.35.

The group opened 25 new Clicks outlets during the reporting period, taking its footprint to 511. It added 39 in-store pharmacies, growing its pharmacy network to 400.

The group made no mention of its CD and DVD retail chain Musica in the results statement.

Sales in The Body Shop, GNC and Claire’s along with Clicks were up 13.5%, with strong growth across all product categories.

The group said its overall retail sales grew 12.8%. Excluding new stores, sales growth was 9.8% with price inflation contained at 4.9%.

Wholesaler UPD experienced a tough year. Turnover was up 6.1% in a pharmaceutical market that has shown minimal volume growth, the company said in its results statement.

"In addition, the regulated single exit price increase in 2016 was lower than the previous year, " the statement said.

The group said it would invest a record R577m in the current financial year to improve its information technology and supply chain management.

"The group has made a considerable investment in improving the quality of customer service in-store and created over 1,200 new jobs in the past year," the company said.

Clicks ClubCard membership increased by more than 1-million to reach 6.2-million after the successful relaunch of the loyalty programme.

Clicks launched an online sales platform that offers a "click and collect" facility in all stores, the company said in its results statement.

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