Clothing retailer Edgars Consolidated Stores Ltd said on Wednesday first quarter sales were above expectations and it was confident full-year earnings gains would beat turnover growth.
The firm, whose stores include Edgars, Sales House, Cuthbert, said group sales surged 30 percent in the three months to June 28, 2003. It said its clothing chains Edgars and United turned in a 16 percent rise in the period compared to 15 percent growth in the year to March 2003 and against expectations they would slow.
The news sent its shares climbing 3.29 percent to 78.50 rand as the all-share index edged up 0.43 percent.
The group said recently acquired stationery group CNA and Supermart also performed satisfactorily.
"Looking forward, the board remains confident that it will deliver on its prospects (in its) statement for the year ending March 2004, of another rise in earnings at a rate well above that of total turnover growth," Edgars said in a statement.
Edgars becomes the latest South African retailer to report an increase in sales, thanks to a firmer rand and falling inflation which have put more money in consumers' pockets.