May 10, 2012 / 10:34 AM / 6 years ago

Wal-Mart focused on existing Africa markets

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc WMT.N, is focused on strengthening its existing operations in Africa and not immediate expansion into new markets on the continent, the head of its international businesses said on Thursday.

Shoppers wait to load their purchases in a truck outside the Makro branch of South African retailer Massmart in Johannesburg May 31, 2011. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Wal-Mart, the world’s biggest retailer, last year spent $2.4 billion on a majority stake in South Africa’s Massmart MSMJ.J, a discounter with a growing presence on the continent.

“Massmart is currently located in 12 markets so that’s our focus. Building our business in the markets that we are currently in is our primary focus,” Doug McMillon told Reuters.

“We are excited about the region. We have a long-term view,” he said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on Africa taking place this week in Addis Ababa.

Massmart has a handful of stores outside South Africa, giving it a foothold but not a major presence in markets such as Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, has scope for up to 20 stores, Massmart’s chief executive has said.

The company is looking to build out its grocery business, to benefit from Africa’s rising disposable incomes.

Reporting by Aaron Maasho; Editing by David Dolan

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