May 26, 2010
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Mr Price says full year core headline EPS up 21 percent

May 26, 2010

JOHANNESBURG, May 26 (Reuters) -South African clothing and home goods retailer Mr Price Group Ltd (MPCJ.J) posted a 21 percent rise in full-year profits, bolstered by its apparel unit and said it will consider acquisitions.

Photo: www.mrpricegroup.com

Mr Price, which operates chain stores of the same name and Miladys, said on Wednesday 26 May its clothing unit -- accounting for more than 70 percent of sales -- boosted sales by 15.9 percent to 5.2 billion rand.

The company declared a final dividend of 126.8 cents per share, which is up 37 percent compared to the previous year.

Africa's biggest economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the first quarter of 2010 after last year's downturn, which affected consumer spending hitting retailers.

But retailers like Mr Price that target the lower end of the market are faring better than more upscale rivals such as Truworths (TRUJ.J) or Foschini (FOSJ.J), as hard-pressed customers opt for cheaper products.

Mr Price said it was cautiously optimistic about its prospects.

"The group will continue to look for trading space opportunities and in order to maintain its historical track record of sales growth, will give consideration to new business concepts and opportunities, including acquisitions should the business fit be right," the company said in a statement.

(Reporting by Gugulakhe Lourie)

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