RISING cost inflation that had eroded sales volumes would dent headline earnings by up to 20 percent for the year to June, Clover Industries said yesterday. Headline earnings a share would decline by between 14.8 percent and 19.8 percent from the R1.199 posted last year, the company said. Earnings a share were likely to drop by between 20.7 percent and 25.7 percent from R1.331 in the previous year, the branded food and beverages group said. Clover said it would continue to focus on its long-term strategy of launching new higher margin, value-added products and platforms, while remaining mindful of shareholder expectations. The company will release its annual financial results for the year to June on September 16. Clover shares fell 0.48 percent to close at R16.70 yesterday. – Dineo Faku