It produced a strong set of half year results from almost all its divisions.
Bidvest reported an 18.9% jump in revenue to R89.6bn and a corresponding 19.1% increase in EBITDA to R5.4bn for the six months to December 31 2013. Headline earnings per share were 16.2% higher at 842.3c per share.
The Bidvest Foodservice division remained a major driver of group performance, growing its revenues by 21%, and trading profit by 24.9% to R1.5bn. This represented 34.3% of group earnings.
Despite the difficult local trading environment, the Bidvest SA division grew its profits by 18%, aided by its acquisitions last year of Home of Living Brands and Mvelaserve. Bidvest Automotive managed to grow both revenues and profits.
“Trading conditions in South Africa are anticipated to remain tough, compounded by the impacts of rising inflation and declining demand,” the group said in a statement. “Further opportunities will be sought in consumer products where the strategy is to expand our exposure to the distribution of FMCG products without direct retail exposure.”
Bidvest indicated that Brazil remains its next target market, while noting that progress on its strategy for expanding its products-related business into Africa has been slow due to infrastructure problems.