JOHANNESBURG - Trading, distribution and services group Bidvest said on Monday it had approved the appointment of Mark Steyn as CFO and executive director from March 1, replacing Peter Meijer who is retiring.

The company also said its headline earnings per share rose 12.5 percent to 574 cents per share in the half year to December 2017, while trading profit grew 12 percent to R3.1 billion.

"This again demonstrates the benefits of Bidvest’s robust and diverse operating units, which collectively serve many key sectors of the South African economy," it said.

"All the South African trading operations apart from Automotive grew profits, while Bidvest Namibia delivered a disappointing performance."

Bidvest said its services, freight and office and print divisions were the stand-out performers over the six-month period, with increases in trading profit of 24.3 percent, 18 percent and 12.7 percent, respectively.

Its prediction at year end of a slight economic recovery had materialised to a degree and the company said while consumer spending remained tight, there were some signs of confidence emerging, specifically driven by rising commodity prices and retail statistics showing signs of potential growth. 

"Most divisions within Bidvest are ideally positioned to take advantage of a revival in economic growth and investment," it said.

"The group’s financial position is strong and a robust balance sheet with adequate headroom is ideally positioned to support our growth ambitions."

- African News Agency (ANA)