/ 3 June 2010

Bidvest sees modest World Cup boost

South Africa’s Bidvest Group said on Thursday the Soccer World Cup was likely to boost earnings by a modest 1% to 2% as the number of expected visitors undershot previous estimates.

Bidvest, whose activities cover auto retailing, freight services and food distribution, will provide catering and rental cars during the month-long soccer tournament, while its services unit is expected to cash in on extra demand for laundry and portable toilets.

The wider South African economy, which emerged from recession at the end of last year, is also expected to see only small benefit from the World Cup, which starts next Friday.

About 370 000 foreigners are expected for the tournament, fewer than earlier forecasts of 450 000.

Bidvest, which also operates in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, said it was scanning the Chinese food service market for expansion.

The company, one of the biggest by revenue in South Africa, also said it was in talks to sell its British logistics business, Ontime Automotive. — Reuters