Bidvest First-Half Profit Gain 19% as Food Services Sales Grow

Bidvest Group Ltd. (BVT), South Africa’s second-biggest company by revenue, said first half-earnings rose 19 percent led by improved operations in South Africa, it’s biggest market, and catering.

Net income for the six months through December increased to 2.69 billion rand ($248.2 million), compared with 2.26 billion rand a year ago, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement today. Revenue grew 19 percent to 89.6 billion rand. The company generated 55 percent of revenue from food services, where sales grew 21 percent from a year earlier, according to the statement.

“Bidvest South Africa achieved good organic growth while the company’s foodservices results reflected improved performances in all operations,” Chief Executive Officer Brian Joffe said in a separate e-mailed statement. “Trading conditions in South Africa are expected to remain tough, compounded by the impacts of rising inflation and declining demand.”

Bidvest, which has businesses from catering to car dealerships and freight, said last month it built a 34.5 percent stake in Adcock Ingram Holdings Ltd. to become the drugmaker’s biggest shareholder. Joffe was named chairman of South Africa’s biggest supplier of hospital products yesterday.

Bidvest shares have declined 8.7 percent this year, compared with a 1.7 percent rise in the 165-member FTSE/JSE Africa All Shares Index. (JALSH)

To contact the reporter on this story: Kamlesh Bhuckory in Johannesburg at kbhuckory@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net

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