Game and Makro owner loses out on billions n alcohol sales, expects losses to jump by 50%

Business

Johannesburg – Retail group Massmart says it lost approximately R2.3 billion in liquor sales in April and May when the sale of alcohol was prohibited in South Africa under lockdown level 5 and 4. But while the sale of alcohol is allowed under level 3, liquor sales are not allowed from Fridays to Sundays.

The owners of Makro and Game was already suffering in 2019, posting an R1billion loss for that financial year. The company says now with Covid-19 lockdown, it expects its loss per share and headline loss per share to grow by at least 50% for the interim period ending in June 2020.

“Excluding the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown, we expect the loss and headline loss would have been slightly better than the same period last year,” the group wrote in a trading statement on Wednesday morning.

Massmart was forced to face the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown in an already fragile state. When the lockdown started, it was already facing the closing down of Dion Wired stores and was also in the process of changing up the product mix at Game store in an effort to improve its profitability.

The group said sales in its South African stores were more severely impacted by the lockdown than in neighbouring countries, declining 11.5% in the 19 weeks ended on May compared to the same period in 2019.

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