JOHANNESBURG – Services, trading, and distribution company Bidvest said on Monday its headline earnings per share for the half year ended December increased by 9.6 percent to 629.1 cents while trading profit grew by 6.3 percent off flat revenue.

Bidvest said it had produced a good result despite a frail economic backdrop as well as significant business and political uncertainty. 

The financial position of the group remained very strong with net debt at R8.9 billion and the company declared an interim dividend of 282 cents, 10.6 percent higher than last year.

"The core competencies and drivers of Bidvest remain firmly intact and we expect that continued growth will be achieved in the financial year," it said.

"Pockets of activity and opportunities exist across the economy and the group is well positioned to participate in these."

Bidvest, which operates through seven divisions, namely Services, Freight, Automotive, Office and Print, Commercial Products, Financial Services and Electrical, noted that economic growth, industrial activity and consumer spending were expected to remain lacklustre until certainty emerged after South Africa's national elections in May.

"The economic damage caused by corruption will take time to remedy," it said. "Government’s ability to drive infrastructural spending, initiation of development programmes and ongoing maintenance in key entities and facilities remains critical to kick-start the economy."

It said its financial position allowed sufficient headroom to advance the group’s strategy, both locally and internationally, ensure growth in existing markets, continue to acquire bolt-on businesses, and pursue other strategic opportunities in niche areas. 

African News Agency (ANA)