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Bidvest Profit Rises as Much as 33% on Airport Stake Sale

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Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Bidvest Group Ltd., a South African industrial holding company, said fiscal first-half profit increased as much as 33 percent, boosted by the sale of part of its stake in an airport in India.

Per-share earnings increased by as much as 33 percent in the six months through December, the Johannesburg-based company said in a regulatory filing today. Earnings excluding one-time items climbed 35 percent to 40 percent, it said.

Bidvest on Aug. 23 said the sale of half of its interest in the Mumbai International Airport Private Ltd. will lift profit before one-time items by 400 million rand ($51 million). The 13.5 percent stake was sold to GVK Power & Infrastructure Ltd. for $287 million.

Earnings for the fiscal first-half also include a 96.7 million rand impairment of the company’s investment in Comair Ltd., the airline part-owned by International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, Bidvest said. Shares in Comair, in which Bidvest owns 26 percent, slid 32 percent over the period, valuing the airline at 760 million rand.

The stock of Bidvest, which owns companies from grain-handling to car retailing, has gained 10 percent over the past 12 months.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Gunnion in Johannesburg at sgunnion@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net

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