The Bidvest Group said on Friday that it had seen a recovery in trading performance in the four months to the end of October, with revenue and trading profit broadly unchanged compared to the same period last year. Photo: Leon Nicholas African News Agency (ANA)
The Bidvest Group said on Friday that it had seen a recovery in trading performance in the four months to the end of October, with revenue and trading profit broadly unchanged compared to the same period last year. Photo: Leon Nicholas African News Agency (ANA)

Bidvest sees recovery that matches up with last year

By Sandile Mchunu Time of article published Nov 30, 2020

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DURBAN - THE BIDVEST Group said on Friday that it had seen a recovery in trading performance in the four months to the end of October, with revenue and trading profit broadly unchanged compared to the same period last year.

This comes after the services, trading and distribution company reported a 19.9 percent decline in profits for the year to end June, hurt by a Covid-19 outbreak resulting in a R1.6 billion cost to its operation during the year.

Bidvest said on Friday that since the start of the financial year the monthly operational performance of the group had improved sequentially due to market share gains in several businesses, the PHS Group acquisition, exposure to certain growth segments and exceptional cost discipline.

“Revenue and trading profit delivered in the first four months of financial year 2021 was broadly unchanged relative to the same period last year.

“This, despite negative economic growth, low business and consumer confidence in all operating territories and travel and tourism-related industries, which remained closed,” the group said.

Bidvest chief executive Mpumi Madisa said Bidvest’s financial year 2021 tagline #EmergingStronger could not be more appropriate.

“I am immensely proud of the Bidvest family. We prioritised the health and well-being of our employees in the face of the continued pandemic, maintained a healthy financial position through strong cash generation, and digested the significant PHS acquisition while delivering value-added services and products into a changed operating environment.

“The future remains uncertain, but the group is resilient, agile and futurefit,” Madisa said.

The group said the commercial products and services divisions delivered excellent results driven by market share gains and further boosted by a performance from PHS that had exceeded expectations.

In April, Bidvest confirmed the acquisition of 100 percent of PHS, the leading hygiene services provider in the UK, for £495m (about R10 billion).

The group also completed the commissioning of Bidvest Freight’s R1bn liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) terminal in Richards Bay on October 22, two years after being featured in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s inaugural investment conference in 2018.

“Bidvest is proud of its significant contribution to the LPG industry in South Africa, the growth of which will stimulate real GDP (gross domestic product) growth and lead to job creation across the LPG-supply chain while offering a myriad opportunities for small, micro and medium-enterprises and potential cost savings for consumers and businesses,” the group said.

Bidvest also raised R5bn in longterm funding in the local market in October and extended its debt maturity profile.

The group said the disposals of Bidvest Car Rental, Bidair Services and the 6.75 percent stake in the Mumbai International Airport are progressing and, operationally, these businesses had performed as expected.

Bidvest expects to release its halfyear results to end December on March 1, 2021. Its shares closed 1.69 percent higher at R170 on Friday.

BUSINESS REPORT

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