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Cashbuild shrugs off virus disruption to pay dividend

Cashbuild’s share price rose more than 6 percent on the JSE after the retailer of building materials and associated products paid an annual dividend, despite the Covid-19 disruption which led to cash-strapped consumers and closed stores.

Cashbuild reported a 7 percent decline in revenue to R10.09 billion for the year to end June, knocked by store closures during level 5 of the national lockdown.

Basic earnings per share decreased by 37 percent to 1 176.7 cents a share and headline earnings per share fell by 40 percent to 1 138.5c while profits slid by 37 percent to R272.67m.

The share price climbed to an intraday high of R194.89, before closing at R185.86.

The group declared a final dividend of 272c, down by 35.2 percent compared to last year’s 420c. Its total dividend for the year amounted to 707c, a decline of 17.3 percent compared to last year’s 855c.

The Covid-19 lockdown saw revenue decrease R621m as retailing of building materials was not classified as essential services.

The group’s cash and cash equivalents increased to R1.95bn during the year.

Chief executive Werner de Jager said the group’s performance was hurt after the South African government declared the Covid-19 pandemic a national disaster on March 17 and announced a national lockdown commencing at midnight on March 26.

Cashbuild also said its revenue jumped by 22 percent in the first six weeks of trading after the reporting period compared to a year earlier.

Cashbuild’s director of operations, Shane Thoresson, said the 22 percent increase was surprising and was not expected as consumers have been under a lot of pressure due to job losses.

“Management believes trading conditions will remain extremely challenging due to the weakness of the national economy impacting negatively on customers’ disposable income,” Thoresson said.

Cashbuild had 318 stores at the end of the financial year, which included one DIY store and 61 P&L Hardware stores.

The group opened 11 new stores, eight Cashbuild and three P&L Hardware stores. It refurbished 15 stores, relocated one Cashbuild store and closed eight non-performing stores, of which seven were Cashbuild stores and one P&L Hardware store.

Cashbuild announced the acquisition of Pepkor Holdings’ subsidiary, The Building Company, for R1.1bn at the beginning of August.

“The acquisition of The Building Company aligns with Cashbuild’s vision of being the preferred supplier of building material and associated products and services across all market segments. It further allows Cashbuild an opportunity to drive these growth initiatives while still maintaining its commitment to its customers in the South African and neighbouring markets,” De Jager said.


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