PROMINENT entrepreneur Brian Joffe would step down as chief executive of Long4Life, a company he founded five years ago, to become its chairperson.
Long4Life’s share price surged 15.7 percent to R5.15 on the JSE yesterday afternoon after the group also announced in its interim results for the six months to August 31 that it had received an offer from a party, which it did not name, to buy all its shares.
The current chairperson, Graham Dempster, will assume the role of deputy-chairperson.
Long4Life delivered “particularly pleasing” results in the six-month period with headline earnings per share increasing by multiple times to 22.5 cents compared with 0.8 cents in the same period in 2020, and by 55 percent compared with the interim period in 2019, which was pre-Covid.
Joffe, who also founded Bidvest in 1989, said in a statement: “Long4Life continues to focus on sales growth, cost containment, working capital improvements and enhancing returns. Capital allocation remains key.”
Revenue increased 30 percent to R1.8 billion compared with the same period in 2020, and was up 7 percent compared with interim 2019. Trading profit increased 335 percent to R214m, and by 6 percent compared with the 2019 interim period.
A 10 cents a share dividend was declared. Cash-on-hand was strong at R667m.
A strategic review of the group structure to explore options to unlock value for shareholders was still under way.
The group also benefited from the share buy-back programme that had been carried out over previous years.
The Sport and Recreation division’s revenue increased 2 percent to R1.1bn compared with the 2019 period, while trading profit was 7 percent higher than the 2019 period, excluding a non-cash foreign exchange loss.
“This division showed resilience during these challenging times, as a result of its strong national execution, diverse product range appeal, agility and strong customer base,” said Joffe.
The Beverages division revenue of R630m was 4 percent lower than in 2019, due to the alcohol restriction which hampered volumes at Inhle and the change in sales mix arising from excellent growth in Own Brands at Chill Beverages. Trading profit grew 43 percent to R69.6m, compared with the 2019 period.
Personal Care and Wellness sales of R152 million were 12 percent higher compared to the 2019 period, largely as a result of strong occupancy levels at the ClaytonCare facilities. The division’s trading profit of R16.6m was 33 percent lower than in the 2019 period, impacted by the continued strain on the bottom line at Sorbet.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE