A clutch of interims this week (a brace would have been two); let’s whisk through them then. Pioneer Foods grew revenue +7.8% for the four months through end Jan, benefiting from higher price inflation in bread, flour, wheat and export fruit, and excluding sales from recent acquisitions Wellington’s and Lizi’s. Bread volumes were up, suggesting that even in these difficult times, everyone still loves a sarmie. And Bokomo Foods UK has weathered the Brexit storm rather well, considering, contributing R3.2bn to group coffers. RCL FOODS, in the meantime, have issued a profit warning for the six months through December because of difficulties in its chicken and sugar businesses, both of which are more than a little volatile – the latter in the face of foreign dumping and weak local demand, the former as a result of steep input costs and high levels of imports. Their grocery brands have done well, though, which rather (validates) their strategy of diversification. Finally, Quantum foods said that higher input prices and lower egg selling prices had worked their dark magic on the bottom line, with a decrease in earnings for the first four months of the FY compared with the same period last year.
Comment: We wouldn’t be a chicken man if you paid us. Just don’t have the gumption for it.