In the financial year ended 30th September 2019, the group reported an increase in turnover of 8.4% to ZAR109.5 billion, despite all markets in which they trade experiencing some challenges. The SPAR Group Ltd turnover includes SPAR Southern Africa, SPAR Ireland and SPAR Switzerland.
SPAR South Africa grew wholesale grocery turnover to the retail stores through the distribution network by 7% to ZAR57.6 billion, with strong support from good marketing initiatives. SPAR retailers continue to increase the range of fresh products and home meal replacement options available instore, supported by the strong SPAR network. SPAR stores operating nationwide include petrol forecourt, convenience, neighborhood and large supermarkets, all operated by independent retailers.
SPAR South Africa believe that their independent retailers, trading under various formats, are well-positioned to deliver exceptional value to consumers in the coming year, being strongly supported by the extensive distribution capability which SPAR has built up, with 243.9 million cases going through the DCs, up 5.3% on the previous year. An inland consolidation centre for slow-moving goods is serving the North Rand, South Rand and the Lowveld Distribution Centres.
Continued investment in both the wholesale capacity, the IT capability and the retail stores goes hand in hand with the development of people, ensuring strong leadership is in place in all of the Distribution Centres and providing extensive training of retail personnel through the SPAR Academy. An instore programme focused on continually improving the quality of customer service is being rolled out throughout the estate.
Investment is being made into installation of solar panels on all six of the SPAR Distribution Centres; this will be finalised before the end of 2019, thereby reducing the cost of energy. Additional sustainability plans include significant increases in the recycling of carton and plastic not only in distribution but also at retail level which involves close collaboration with suppliers.
Own Brand products remain an important element of the retail offering, comprising 23.3% of core turnover whilst SPAR Own Brand alone grew by 9.1% to ZAR9.2 billion at wholesale level. There is a strong focus on redeveloping all packaging to environmentally friendly solutions.