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Foschini first half profit up, sees tough second half

Nov 5, 2009

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 5 (Reuters) - South African retailer Foschini Ltd (FOSJ.J) posted a rise in first-half profit on Thursday 5 November, but said the first five weeks of its second half had been tough, sending its shares lower.


Foschini, whose chain stores include Markhams, American Swiss and @home, said diluted headline earnings per share rose 1.8 percent to 231.9 cents for the six months to end September, and maintained its interim dividend at 118 cents.

Its shares fell 3.48 percent to 56.65 rand by 1215 GMT, lagging a 2.11 percent weaker JSE retailer's index .JGERE.

Despite tough trading conditions, Foschini said it planned to open 40 more stores in the second-half.

The group's retail turnover was up 7.9 percent to 4.1 billion rand, while retail turnover for the first 5-weeks of the second-half rose 4.8 percent in tough trading, it said.

South African retailers have been struggling to lift sales as consumers reign in on spending and the country battles its first recession since 1992.

Rival Truworths (TRUJ.J) said earlier on Thursday 5 November trading conditions would remain tough in 2010. (Reporting by Phakamisa Ndzamela)

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