JOHANNESBURG  – Bidvest Group said on Wednesday its operating performance in the first four months to October of its 2019 financial year had been solid, notwithstanding sluggish economic growth, political instability and waning business confidence in South Africa

The services, trading, and distribution company said almost all divisions achieved trading result growth, with a strong focus remaining on cash generation and ensuring an acceptable shareholder return.

"We are pleased with our year to date performance, and we remain confident that our resilient business model, tight expense control, the measures we have taken to ensure we remain relevant and competitive, as well as increased volumes in certain sectors and acquisitions, will enable us to deliver acceptable growth in FY19," chief executive Lindsay Ralphs said in a trading update.

"Our sound financial position and strong balance sheet provides adequate headroom to support our growth and investment aspirations, both locally and internationally."

The company said the trading operations delivered an acceptable result, assisted by the acquisition of Noonan in September 2017

It had also benefitted from the continuation of good agricultural volumes, the investment and capacity increase in liquid storage tanks, growing demand for branded everyday essential consumer products as well as the annuity-type nature of many of its operations.

But businesses exposed to the infrastructure, construction and manufacturing sectors witnessed further contraction in demand.

It said progress on Bidvest Freight’s R1 billion liquified petroleum gas project was on schedule and civil work was progressing well.

- African News Agency (ANA)