Astral Up above the world so high
Astral interims for the six months to March are in, and believe us, you don’t want to know. Well, OK, but don’t say we didn’t warn you. Revenue was up a scant 5% to R4.24billion, but operating profit was down 80% year-on-year to R64million, driven thither like a panicked hen by cheap poultry imports, a spot of industrial action, an increase in feed costs, a cutback in something called “bird placements” which you are welcome to look up if you’re interested, slow growth in the economy with its depressing effect on consumer spending and an unseemly fracas, if that’s the word, with the Competition Commission which will probably result in a fine of some sort to the tune of R17million.
Comment: A glimmer of hope on the horizon is the South African Poultry Association’s application to the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) for the implementation of higher general tariffs on poultry imports, which if successful should ease things somewhat.