The outlook for the group
Retailer success will remain our top priority considering the tough trading environment.
Although we expect political and economic uncertainties to continue dominating the external influences on our operations, we remain positive and committed to improving the factors that are under our control. This will include a stringent focus on both cost control and margin management across the group.
We look forward to the positive impact of the new GUEST customer service programme – on both retailers and consumers. We also plan to explore growth opportunities in the virtual space through online transactions and services.
We want to maintain our culture as one of the key ingredients of our past successes: our SPAR values should be alive and visible from our distribution centre’s backdoor up to the retailer, on the shelf and into society.
Our Swiss operations have the potential to double in the next four years, with 15–20 store openings in the pipeline.
In Ireland we will be investigating further potential acquisition opportunities, while monitoring and mitigating the risk of Brexit for the business.
There are great opportunities for our employees in the years ahead. We have made two important leadership appointments in Switzerland and Build it, and between our South African distribution centres we are also looking forward to the contribution from our new Lowveld managing director, Alison Zweers and our new KwaZulu-Natal managing director, Max Oliva.
The 2017 reporting year has been one of difficulties and disappointments, combined with solid improvements and great teamwork. Such successes bode well for SPAR in the years ahead as we grow together with passion, entrepreneurship and family values.
Chief Executive Officer
14 November 2017