Pedestrians walk past a branch of South African clothing retailer Truworths in Cape Town

S.Africa's Truworths creates COO role to boost sales as FY profit falls

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African fashion retailer Truworths International has created a chief operating officer position to boost retail sales growth at home and in the UK, where consumer spending remains under pressure and online competition is growing.

Truworths, which also runs British footwear chain Office, made the announcement of the new role on Thursday after reporting a 7.3 percent fall in annual profit, sending its shares more than 4 percent higher. The profit decline was in line with analyst estimates.

Chief Financial Officer David Pfaff, 53, was appointed to the new COO position responsible for retail store operations and will also continue his role as CFO, Truworths said in a statement.

At home, the retailer launched its new e-commerce site earlier this year to better its online offering and is also expanding its recently acquired homeware Loads of Living business.

In the United Kingdom, the firm has been introducing improved ranges and product mix to address margin and profit decline.

Truworths said diluted headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the 52 weeks to July 1 declined to 612.7 cents compared to the 53-week prior period, in line with the average estimate of 612 cents in a poll of eight analysts by Thomson Reuters.

Compared to the 52-week prior period, diluted HEPS declined 1.3 percent.

Headline EPS, a widely watched profit measure in South Africa, strips out certain one-off, non-trading items.

Group retail sales fell by 2.7 percent to 18 billion rand ($1.24 billion), and unchanged compared to the 52-week prior period.

The firm's shares pared gains to trade up 2.66 percent at 81.70 rand.

($1 = 14.5100 rand)

(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by James Macharia)

First Published: 2018-08-16 16:06:15
Updated 2018-08-16 17:16:40

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