Massmart appoints new chief executive

Date : 24 May 2019

South Africa-based, Walmart owned Massmart has appointed a new chief executive less than a month after it announced its existing chief executive, Guy Hayward, would step down by the end of 2019. Simultaneously, the retailer has said that it is expecting its operating profit to be flat.

Ex Walmart Japan to become new CEO…

Massmart has appointed Mitchell Slape as its new chief executive. Slape was previously interim president and chief executive of Walmart Japan. Massmart said Slape would start ‘from the 1st day of the month following the date of approval and grant of his intra-company transfer permit and visa to work in South Africa’.

…As it says its operating profit will be flat

As part of its AGM, separate from the chief executive appointment, the retailer provided a general trading statement. Massmart reported that for the first 20 weeks total sales rose 6.1% to ZAR33.5bn (US$2.3bn), with comparable sales rising 4.1%. It noted that product inflation, year-to-date, was 2.5%. Massmart said total sales growth was 5.4% at its operations in its home market and 13.9% outside, in Rands.

By category, the retailer said total growth stood at 7.3% for food, 13.3% for liquor, 2.2% for durable goods and 4.3% in home improvement. Meanwhile, by division, Massmart reported that:

  • Massdiscounters: total sales growth + 4.9%, comparable sales growth +2.7%
  • Masswarehouses: total sales growth +4.2%, and comparable sales growth +2.6%
  • Massbuild: total sales growth + 4.3%, comparable sales growth +1.0%
  • Masscash: total sales growth +9.8%, comparable sales growth +8.2%

Massmart to continue expansion

The retailer has previously announced its expansion plans for 2019 to 2021. In the timeframe it will look to open 47 new stores, with about a third of the new selling space to be opened outside South Africa.

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