Dis-Chem No shot in the dark
Those Dis-Chem results, then, for the year through February 2021: retail revenue up +7.6% to R23.4bn, with retail operating profit down -8.9% to R1.2bn, although headline earnings, a generally dependable measure of the old bottom line, were up +11.8% as wholesale turned a profit. Like store sales were up +2.7% on the back of 22 store openings, including three Mediclinics and the acquisition of two pharmacies, for a total of 194. And brand-new acquisition Baby City, which came onstream in January this year, contributed a bouncing R128m to revenue. Of particular interest is the Group’s tidy increase in revenue of +12.6% for the 10 weeks to 10 May, even before Dis-Chem had commenced its COVID vaccination rollout. It has secured 32 dedicated sites for this and at full capacity will be delivering 800,000 shots a month.
Comment: A tidy set of results in a very challenging year (on which you can read more here), even for the pharmacy sector. Dis-Chem is often compared with Clicks; perhaps rather than competing directly with that larger business it is charting its own course.