Trade Tatler
“Buying the right computer and getting it to work properly is no more complicated than building a nuclear reactor from wristwatch parts in a darkened room using only your teeth.”
Dave Barry



THIS ISSUE:     18 Dec - 22 Dec

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Woolworths  Unhampered by the economy

Online sales at Woolies have grown by 30% for each of the past two years, and they’re expecting 35% growth for the next five years. And next year, although they’re not saying what right now, expect some big changes in this department, with the Dapper One looking for new ways to connect with an increasingly wired generation of punters. As a little taste of this, you can now order Christmas hampers online for your nearest and dearest, who will be delighted with the keepsake boxes and the goodies inside them, from organic coffee to the latest issue of the tastefully-titled Taste magazine.

Financial Mail 18/12/09

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Shoprite  A gamblin’ man

Whitey Basson likes a little flutter as much as the next man. Which is part of the reason, no doubt, that he allocates a percentage of profits annually to risky projects – like moving to centralised distribution back in ’93, and into Africa (where growth continues at a brisk 40% per annum) at roughly the same time. More recently, there’s the repositioning of Checkers, from net om die hoek to something a little swankier. This productive risk-taking by a tight and disciplined management team goes a long way to explain the turnover growth of 24.5% in the last financial year, and Shoprite’s market capitalisation of R34.5buljons, almost R15 of the big chaps ahead of the nearest (ahem) rival.

Financial Mail 18/12/09

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Aspen  Nowthat’sadeal!

AspenPharmacarehashadanotherbrilliantyearinasparklingstringofthose,establishingitselfasAfrica’sbiggest manufacturerofgenericmedicinesandthroughitspartnershipwithGlaxoalsomakingstridesinothermarkets,notably AustraliaandSouthAmerica.TheGlaxoSmithKlinepartnershipwasstrengthenedthisyearwiththeallocationof 68.5millionfreshlymintedAspensharestoGSKinexchangeforamanufacturingplantinBadOldesloeinGermany, andthelicencetomanufactureeightspecialistmedicines.ThedealwillbeconcludednextyearwhenAspenPharmacare signovertheirrightstothepunctuationintheirlogo.

Finweek 17/12/09

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Cadbury  Where were you on D-Day?

As the year ends, plucky English choccie maker Cadbury is fighting a desperate rearguard action to ward off the advances of lumbering mayo magnate Kraft. And it is determined not to use the “Union Jack” defence, pointing rather to its interesting performance over the past few years and suggesting that a Kraft takeover would be like putting an E-type into the Chrysler Starwagon lane. And Hershey and Ferrero are likely to get as cold a shoulder unless they pony up with something meaningful.

Financial Times 15/12/09

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Brandhouse  What are you doing, SAB?

Merry festive news for the Little Liquor Marketing Group That Could is that they’ve now outstripped the hulking behemoth that is SAB in premium beer sales, and now own 57.7% of the green bottle market. In the Brandhouse front row Heineken, Amstel and Windhoek rub bristly cheeks with SAB’s somewhat lighter pack, comprising Pilsner Urquell, Peroni, Dreher, Hansa Marzen Gold and Castle Lite, which SAB maintains is still the single biggest seller in the premium market. Premium beer sales now account for 18% of all beers sold in a country slowly waking up to the delights of frosty malted liquor in verdant packaging.

Fin24 14/12/09

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Credit  Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good debt

The number of credit accounts held by South Africans grew 2% to 63.54 million in the quarter to September, boding well for reckless spending in the next couple of days and outnumbering actual South Africans by around 20 million. Problem is, only 55% of those account holders are still in good standing with their accounts only one or two months in arrears, compared with 63% in 2007. On the upside, debt counselling is driving the numbers up of people meeting their obligations – although at least some of these, it seems, are using debt counselling as a means to get a couple of months’ grace from creditors – months they use gainfully to incur more debt.

Business Day 15/12/09

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