Sunday Times

Hits & Misses

Harmonious notes in gold mining but Tiger Brands’ not feeling its oats


HARMONY Gold said headline EPS for the six months to December are expected to increase to between R9.37 and R9.76 from R2.93 in the previous correspond­ing period. South Africa’s biggest gold producer by volume is in a sweet spot given the high gold price and weak rand. Its numbers will be further boosted by higher gold output. With the bulk of its assets located in its home market, Harmony benefits more from the rand gold price relative to its bigger global peers.

BIDCORP, which was unbundled from Bidvest in 2016, reported a 19% rise in headline EPS to R11.50 in the six months to December. Trading profit jumped 21% to R5.9bn, with revenue up 24% to R113.8bn. The group operates in more than 35 countries across six continents, with clients in the hospitalit­y industry. Trading profit from emerging markets was up just 4% while Australia and New Zealand, reported a 17% increase in trading profit.

TELKOM’S revenue in the December quarter rose just 2% year on year to R11.3bn while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciati­on and amortisati­on were stable at R2.48bn. Ebitda from Openserve was up 7% to just more than R1bn. Mobile ebitda rose 3.5% to R1.2bn as the subscriber base grew 6.4% to 19.7-milllon. Its IT business BCX fared poorly while Swifnet, which is for sale, saw a marginal rise in ebitda to R333m.

TIGER Brands said revenue for the four months to end-January fell 1% year on year due to volume declines of 8%, which were offset by price inflation of 7%. The owner of brands such as Oros, Tastic and Jungle Oats said consumers were buying more promotiona­l items and limiting their spending to essentials as price increases for food and nonalcohol­ic beverages outpaced CPI. Operating income for the six months ending March 31 is forecast to be little changed.

SIBANYE-STILLWATER has warned shareholde­rs of a loss in its financial year to end-December after a plunge in metal prices and production bottleneck­s forced it to write down the value of its assets by R47.4bn. After a reprieve in December, platinum group metal prices are under renewed pressure as prospects for quicker and deeper cuts in global interest rates dim. Headline EPS are likely to plummet 90%-91% year on year, the company said.

SHARES in PnP plummeted on Thursday after the retailer said it wants to raise as much as R4bn in a rights issue to stabilise its finances and also separately list Boxer, its discount division, to further shore up group finances, though it will retain a majority stake in the star performer. The group said the Ackerman family, which holds about a quarter of its shares, was supportive of the move. The rights issue and unbundling will require shareholde­r approval.—

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