Bidvest founder and CEO Brian Joffe will step down after a deal to spin off and separately list the industrial conglomerate’s food business goes through, he said on Monday.
He made the announcement after reporting that Bidvest saw a 13,1% rise in half-year profit on Monday, buoyed by its food services business and the effect of currency depreciation in its home market.
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.
Headline EPS is the main profit gauge in South Africa and strips out certain one-off items.
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.
“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.