South African pharmacy chain Dis-Chem sales up 13.5% in past 5 months

Dis-Chem, the leading South African pharmacy chain, has reported that sales grew 13.5% to R9.9bn ($646.7m) in the first five months of its 2020 financial year to end July, due in part to better wholesale revenues, which account for two thirds of sales, rose by 15.3%, while retail revenues were up 12%.

Like for like sales growth was 5.3%, helped by a 3.78% increase in medicine prices (related to South Africa’s Single Exit Price mechanism) which came into effect in March.

Dischem has said that trading volumes were slightly up, while retail sales price inflation was at 2.5%. The group has added nine new stores between March and end July 2019 and plans to add another 13 stores before the end of its financial year to bring it to a total of 171 stores.

Dis-Chem entered the wholesale market in 2013 when it acquired a controlling stake in CJ Distribution to service its own stores as well as independent pharmacies. On the retail side, it launched its online platform in 2013, although trading volumes are small.