Shoprite Holdings reported that turnover for 2008/09 jumped 24.5% to ZAR59.32bn (£4.68bn), with a 28.1% lift in profits to ZAR2.94bn (£231.9m).

Most divisions reported growth, with the notable exception of furniture, which suffered from reduced demand in the face of rising unemployment and high interest rates. The group’s supermarket division reported sales up 39.9%.

Chief executive Whitey Basson said: “We are making major inroads into food retailing in a number of countries.”