The local stock market was higher yesterday, with the JSE All-Share Index up 0.55%, while the Top 40 Index was firmer by 0.67%. The commodities sector gave the biggest boost to the overall market as the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine continued to push commodity prices higher. Among individual stocks, Sasol led the blue chip index after gaining 7.53%. On the other hand, Investec was the worst performer in the top 40, down 3.87%.
The rand held steady against the dollar on Wednesday, with the currency failing to make significant gains as Russia’s increased bombing of Ukrainian urban areas dampened risk appetite. At the close of trading, the rand was trading around R15.33 against the dollar, 0.73% firmer.
Oil prices continued to rally this morning, rising above $116 per barrel, as trade disruptions and supply issues due to Russian sanctions related to the Ukraine crisis fuelled supply concerns, while U.S. crude inventories fell to a multi-year low. Meanwhile, gold prices were unchanged Thursday as risk appetite improved after the Federal Reserve chairman sought to calm fears of aggressive rate hikes, offsetting safe-haven demand triggered by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
CASHBUILD LIMITED – Interim Results
Sales decreased by 12% in the reporting period. Sales of pre-July 2020 stores (305 stores) decreased by 14% and our 12 new stores contributed 2% to growth.
Gross profit decreased 11%, with gross profit margin percentage increasing from 26.4% to 26.6%, mainly due to inventory recovery from looting, net of depreciation. The increase in selling prices in December 2021 was 8.8% compared to December 2020. Operating costs, including new stores, were well controlled in light of the decline in sales and decreased by 10% (existing stores 12% partially offset by a 2% increase in new stores), resulting in a 14% decrease in operating income. Basic earnings per share decreased 19% and adjusted earnings per share also decreased 27%.
WOOLWORTHS HOLDINGS LIMITED – Unaudited Interim Consolidated Results
Consolidated revenue and concession revenue decreased 2.1% for the 26 weeks ended December 26, 2021 compared to the 26 weeks ended December 27, 2020 (‘Prior Period’) and decreased 0.3% in constant currency. Online sales grew by 22.4%, contributing 13.7% to the Group’s total and concession sales in the period. Overall, trading momentum improved in the last six weeks of the period with sales growth of 3.0% and 3.5% in constant currency, supported by more targeted Black Friday promotions, positive Christmas trading and the lifting of lockdown measures in Australia. Earnings per share (‘EPS’) were 167.9cps compared to 288.8cps in the prior year period, while headline EPS (‘HEPS’) and adjusted diluted HEPS declined by 35.6% and 16.3% year-on-year to 168.2cps and 162.2cps respectively.