TRUWORTHS half-year sales jumped 36%, it said on Thursday, the third clothing retailer this week to signal a pickup despite weak growth in Africa’s most advanced economy.

Truworths’ retail sales rose to R8.5bn for the six months to the end of December, boosted by the inclusion of recent acquisitions British shoe store Office, and children’s clothing stores Earthchild and Naartjie.

Clothing retailers have been struggling to boost sales growth as shoppers battle high personal debt levels in a slowly growing economy. But Truworths CE Michael Mark said in August the credit environment was improving.

In-store credit is an important driver for SA’s clothing retailers and Truworths said in its update on Thursday that it was responsible for 60% of its sales.

On Monday, The Foschini Group said sales for the nine months to the end of December rose 33%, driven by strong Christmas trading.

High-end retailer Woolworths, which sells clothing and food, said on Thursday it expected half-year headline earnings per share to rise 25% to 35% year on year, with sales also forecast to rise.