In Brief Regrettably, the sky is, in fact, falling
Congrats to PepsiCo South Africa on the appointment of Riaan Heyl as CEO, stepping into the capacious shoes of Tertius Carstens. Heyl joined the business – then Pioneer Foods – in 2000 and led the essential foods portfolio from 2017. More movement, this time from Gordon’s Gin, the rights to distribute of which have been sold by Capevin, the specialist liquor business controlled by Remgro, to the brand’s global owner, Diageo. Next up – the latest in a flurry of delistings from the JSE is likely to be Premier Fishing and Brands, subject to a buyout from Sekunjalo Investment Holdings. Onto more serious stuff now, as poultry giant Astral Foods warns that HEPS, a reliable indicator of profitability, is likely to drop 87%-92% YoY for the six months to end March. This as a superstorm of factors, including record high feed input costs, the national electricity debacle and the decay of municipal infrastructure sends costs through the roof and impedes day-to-day operations. Late last year, the business announced that it would be investing R200m into alternative energy and water storage resources to mitigate the impacts of load shedding.
Comment: Further evidence, if more is needed, of the near impossibility of doing business under the circumstances to which wilful incompetence and criminality have bought us.