Bidvest, whose business spans pharmaceuticals, auto showrooms, shipping and catering, said diluted headline earnings per share totalled 1,001.5 cents in the six months to end-December, compared with 886.3 cents a year earlier.
The group said tough trading conditions at home, where sales grew by only 3%, weighed on its results, but its food services business showed exceptional growth in Britain, Europe and some of China’s large cities.
Office and print
The consolidated business, combining Office and Paperplus, achieved satisfactory results, with turnover 3,5% higher at R5,2-billion (2014: R5-billion) and trading profit up 24,7% at R415,3-million (2014: R333,1-million).
Lithotech was buoyed by export income and changes to its service mix. Bidvest Data created a competitive advantage from the shift to electronic communication. Bidvest Packaging maintained strong momentum after a period of consolidation. Rotolabel achieved a pleasing turnaround, as did Silveray. Kolok performed strongly, with rand weakness contributing to its results.
Performance at Waltons continued to disappoint. A strong performance was put in by Konica Minolta. Zonke Monitoring Systems again did well. Among the furniture businesses, Cecil Nurse performed exceptionally well and the furniture contribution was well above budget.
“The average rand exchange rate weakened against sterling and the euro, resulting in a 3,7% benefit to trading profit,” the company said.
Bidvest announced earlier this month that it plans to list its food services business separately on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange.
In the half year to 31 December, 2015, Bidvest achieved 13% growth in headline earnings per share (HEPS) to 1 001,5 cents despite challenging trading conditions, particularly in Southern Africa.
Highlights of Bidvest’s half-year results include:
- HEPS up 13% to 1 001,5 cents (2014: 886,3 cents);
- Most Foodservice businesses achieved real organic growth in local currency;
- Improved trading result by Bidvest South Africa;
- Turnover up 9,6% to R114,5-billion (2014: R104,4-billion);
- Trading profit rises 11,6% to R5,2-billion (2014: R4,6-billion);
- Strong contributions by Europe and UK;
- Gross profit percentage rises to 20,5% (2014: 20,1%); and
- Cash generated by operations up 6,5% to R6,4-billion (R6-billion).