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Shoprite Retail firm posts 8.9 percent rise in H1 profit

"The economies of oil-rich Angola and Nigeria showed surprising resilience despite the challenges brought about by the steep drop in the oil price," the company said.

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A shopper is seen outside a Shoprite store in Johannesburg July 7, 2015. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko play A shopper is seen outside a Shoprite store in Johannesburg July 7, 2015. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko (Reuters)

South Africa's Shoprite Holdings posted a 8.9 percent rise in half-year profit on Tuesday, boosted by strong growth outside its home market which is grappling with rising interest rates and higher unemployment.

The retailer reported diluted headline earnings per share (EPS) of 403 cents for the six months to end-December, compared with 370.2 cents a year ago.

Shoprite, which has become Africa's largest grocer over the past decade as it expanded into fast-growing economies, said markets in oil producing countries had fared better than expected given the slump in crude prices.

"The economies of oil-rich Angola and Nigeria showed surprising resilience despite the challenges brought about by the steep drop in the oil price," the company said.

Shoprite said it will continue opening new stores across Africa, but at a more cautious pace.

Shares in Shoprite were trading 3.75 percent higher at 150.12 rand, compared to a 0.5 drop in the Johannesburg Securities Exchange’s Top-40 index.

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