According to the firm, the performance on currency devaluations in the African markets it operates contributed to the decline.

Shoprite said this in its half-year financial performance ending December 2019.

“We have continued to experience ongoing currency devaluations and volatility in key markets in which we trade,” it said.

Adding that “During the reporting period, the Angolan kwanza, Zambian kwacha, Nigerian naira and Ghana cedi depreciated 40.4%, 20.8% 18.2% and 12.9%, respectively against the US dollar when compared to the previous year.”

The group's total sales increased by 7% to approximately R81.2 billion, driven by growth in its South African supermarkets, up 9.8% for the period to R61.7 billion.

Other operating segments – which include businesses OK Franchises, Computicket, MediRite Pharmacies, Transpharm and Checkers Food Services, however, grew sales by 4.4% to R5.4 billion.