August 29, 2019 / 5:44 AM / 9 months ago

S.Africa's Massmart swings to net loss in H1

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 29 (Reuters) - South African retailer and wholesaler Massmart Holdings on Thursday posted a net loss in the first half of the year, dragged lower by softer-than-expected sales, margin weakness, higher expenses and foreign exchange losses.

Massmart, in which Walmart has a majority stake, said its net loss in the six months ended June came in at 832.4 million rand ($54.63 million) compared with a profit of 190 million rand in a year-ago period.

The retailer, which owns general merchandise and food wholesaler Makro, is the latest South African retailer to confirm tough domestic conditions as increased value-added tax, unemployment and inflation coupled with higher fuel prices reduced consumer spending power.

$1 = 15.2369 rand Reporting by Nqobile Dludla, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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