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Foschini sales fly after Hobbs buy

Published
today Jan 17, 2018
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The Foschini Group (TFG) has seen its share price rising after it reported strong trading in December. The South African group owns a raft of retailers including big UK names Whistles, Phase Eight and Hobbs.


Hobbs



It said that it had a “very strong Black Friday” on November 24 and unlike some in the UK retail sector, business for December didn’t drop off after that.

In fact, its December trading was “pleasing and above management's expectation” with consolidated turnover growth from November 26 to December 30 up a healthy 31%. Currency-neutral, the rise was 30.5%.

Of course, part of that rise was accounted for by the company’s purchase of the Hobbs chain on November 25 and the firm’s new Australian ops (it bought Retail Apparel Group last May) that “traded above management’s expectation.” The Hobbs buy meant that while TFG Africa turnover rose 6.6% (1.7% on a comparable basis), TFG London soared by 63.9%.

The company also said that in its Africa unit, clothing grew by 11.4% (or 5.9% on a comparable basis) but homewares, jewellery, and cosmetics all fell. Unfortunately it didn’t give out details on the specific UK or Australia performances.

For the nine months to the end of December, total sales including its African and international divisions were up 17.1%, or 19.1% currency-neutral, although the company didn’t offer up out a total value for those sales. At TFG London, turnover growth was 13.5% in the nine months.

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