A BIDVEST Bank. The group has done very well financially during the last four-months period. Leon Nicholas African News Agency (ANA)
DURBAN – The Bidvest Group yesterday reported strong growth for its businesses in the four months to end October, with all divisions achieving growth.

The group said the operating performance remained solid, despite sluggish economic growth, political instability and waning business confidence in South Africa.

Chief executive Lindsay Ralphs said the group was confident of its resilient business model, tight expense control and measures taken to ensure that the group remained competitive.

Ralphs said increased volumes in certain sectors and acquisitions would enable Bidvest to deliver acceptable growth in the financial year 2019.

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

Bidvest said it recorded solid growth assisted by the acquisition of Ireland-based Noonan last year for R2.7 billion.

The group said at the time the acquisition would allow it to grow its international footprints and to diversify its geographic reach.

Bidvest has interest in seven different sectors including automotive, freight, services, commercial products, office & print, financial services and electrical.

The group said its broad reach of activities allowed it to benefit from the continuation of good agricultural volumes, 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.

Ralph said the reach made the business resilient in a period of subdued infrastructure, construction and manufacturing sectors.

He said several small bolt-on acquisitions had been concluded since year end, with a few larger transactions being finalised.

“Management continue to evaluate acquisition opportunities, both locally and internationally,” Ralphs said.

The group said its civil work was progressing well at its R1bn Liquified Petroleum Gas in Richards Bay.

It said the commissioning of the last six multi-purpose tanks would be complete this year

The group said it also continued to make strategic assessment with regards to Bidvest’s non-core assets.

After year-end, Bidvest sold its remaining Bidcorp shares at R320 a share for R407 million and in Namibia, proceeds have been received from the Bidfish disposal and for most of the Angolan assets.

Bidvest Group shares rose 2percent on the JSE on Wednesday to close at R203.30.

BUSINESS REPORT