/ 31 August 2009

Bidvest full-year earnings fall

Industrial conglomerate Bidvest Group posted a 12,9% drop in full-year headline earnings per share, partly due to one-off costs from restructuring its motor retail and food units.

Bidvest, one of South Africa’s largest companies by revenue, said on Monday headline EPS dropped to 930 cents per share, in line with its own forecast for a 12% to 14% fall.

The company, whose activities span car retailing, food distribution and freight services, said earnings were hit partly by the expensing of R118,3-million in closure and reorganisation costs in certain operations.

The group said it closed its cash guzzling volume vehicle distribution business in the UK, Ontime Automotive, but added that the UK economy appeared to have stabilised.

It said its investment in Angolan Inshore fishing trade would not yield returns for another year.

Bidvest said its balance sheet remained strong, while cash remained conservative. It said it had the capacity to seek further strategic acquisition opportunities. – Reuters