Mr Price was worried about political outcomes in South Africa and dreaded the potential downgrading of the country’s sovereign credit rating by Moody’s Investor Services and S&P Global Ratings on Friday, the retailer said yesterday.

Stuart Bird, the chief executive of Mr Price, said he was pleased the company posted robust results in the six months to the end of September, but cautioned on the impact of further downgrades of the country’s sovereign credit rating.

“The company is very concerned about the potential impact relating to sovereign rating reviews and political outcomes. However, the positive early signs of summer trading are encouraging, with October sales increasing 8.3% and further momentum being gained going into November,” Bird said.

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