Our footprint continues to expand with RAG in Australia being the latest addition to the brand portfolio post year end. Whereas the traditional TFG business was primarily based in South Africa with a growing African footprint, the geographic reach of the business now extends to many territories outside of the African continent (in developed and emerging market economies).
Between TFG Africa and TFG International, we now have 3 328 outlets in 34 countries with an increasing number of brands selling online.
The turnover contribution from TFG International (including online and outlets) increased to 19,7% as Whistles made its first full-year contribution (acquired in March 2016).
We achieved overall retail turnover growth of 11,6% (14,3% in constant currency) in a year characterised by uncertain economic and political conditions in most of our trading markets. A strength of the Group is the diversification across different merchandise categories, resulting in no major dependency on any particular category.
The merchandise category contributions to turnover remained broadly in line with 2016. Cellphones (8,2% vs 7,9%); clothing and footwear from the Sport division (20,4% vs 18,8%) and clothing and footwear from TFG International (19,7% vs 17,1%) had the most notable movements in contribution.
Clothing delivered a strong overall performance with growth of 13,3%. This merchandise category remains dominated by the TFG Africa contribution (73%) where consumer spending remained under pressure and was impacted by difficult credit conditions as a result of the Affordability Regulations.
Jewellery continued to be a difficult retail area but showed positive turnover growth of 1,4%.
Cellphones showed strong growth of 15,3% due to a market-relevant product range. As indicated above, the category’s overall contribution also increased, which negatively impacted the gross margin in TFG Africa as a result of the change in product mix.
Turnover growth of 5,9% in homeware and furniture was limited by discounting in the market, with cosmetics under similar pressure with growth of 2,3%.
Cash represented 60,7% of total turnover compared to 57,2% in 2016. Credit turnover growth of only 2,3% (2016: 5,9%) was achieved due to the impact of the Affordability Regulations on our ability to open new accounts. TFG Africa’s cash turnover growth was particularly strong in the first half of the financial year, with the second half affected by a slowdown after the festive season combined with the shift in Easter weekend and the March school holiday.
Turnover by merchandise category performance
|Group turnover by merchandise category||2017
|Clothing||17 578,7||15 517,8||13,3||3,0|
|Jewellery||1 490,5||1 470,5||1,4||(0,8)|
|Cellphones||1 927,7||1 672,2||15,3||11,4|
|Homeware and furniture||1 434,0||1 354,0||5,9||(3,2)|
|Cosmetics||1 117,8||1 093,0||2,3||–|
|Total||23 548,7||21 107,5||11,6||2,8|
The Damsel in a Dress, G-Star Australia and RAG acquisitions will drive the geographic diversification of future turnover contribution. RAG has established stores and online channels, providing a strong platform for the expansion of TFG’s brands into Australasia. This will provide further earnings and currency hedge while expanding our position in this market.
With the negative impact of the credit regulations in our base, we anticipate stronger credit turnover growth in the next year off a low base while still retaining momentum in cash turnover growth.
We will continue our focus on supply chain initiatives, including supplier relationships and the optimisation of markdown, to enhance our gross margin across all merchandise categories.
Our current year efforts in respect of working capital management and capital allocation will continue in order to further optimise working capital levels throughout the business and to ensure disciplined capital allocation in relation to outlets and projects.