South African pharmacy chain Clicks Group on Tuesday reported slower turnover growth for the 20-week period to Jan. 15 reflecting a sharp fall in COVID-19 vaccinations.
Turnover rose by 2.9% versus growth of 10.4% seen a year earlier.
Excluding vaccinations, turnover rose by 7.8% to 15.6 billion rand ($902 million) reflecting good volume growth following strong Black Friday and Christmas trading.
"Clicks reported particularly strong growth in beauty, personal care and baby, with customer purchasing behaviour normalising post the relaxation of COVID-19 regulations," CEO Bertina Engelbrecht said.
The beauty retailer generated just 4 million rand from vaccinations versus 685 million rand a year earlier.
Clicks did not share further detail on this.
Its total retail sales grew by 5.5% and by 12.2% excluding vaccinations.
After more than 4 million COVID-19 infections and over 102,000 deaths, hospitalisation and mortality rates have come down significantly in South Africa.
As of Jan. 23, over 38 million vaccinations had been administered.
Turnover at United Pharmaceutical Distributors (UPD) - its bulk and wholesale division - grew by 9.9% as sales managed for bulk distribution clients benefited from new contracts and growth in existing clients.
($1 = 17.2870 rand) (Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; editing by Kirsten Donovan)