Lewis Group Limited said in its trading update for the nine month period ended 31 December 2016 remained extremely challenging with low economic growth, declining consumer confidence, constrained employment and the continuing impact of the drought in the agricultural sector affecting sales mainly in rural areas.
Credit sales continued to be significantly impacted by the affordability assessment regulations which remain a major hurdle in the group’s lower to middle income target market.
Revenue for the third quarter to December 2016 declined by 7.5% with merchandise sales 5.6% lower than the corresponding period. Revenue for the nine month period reduced by 4.0% and merchandise sales by 2.0%.
The collection performance of the debtors book remains stable. Debtor costs for the nine months to December 2016 increased by 6.0% on the corresponding period,reflecting an improvement on the 7.3% increase reported at the half year to year comparison.