A recycler risks contracting listeriosis by picking up polony to eat at the Heatherly dump site. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
JOHANNESBURG - Investment holding company Remgro said on Friday that its investment in RCL Foods was not facing a threat caused by the listeriosis outbreak in the country.

Remgro holds a 77.2percent stake in RCL Foods.

Chief executive Jannie Durand said RCL Foods performed admirably in the six months to December, as it added 56.6percent, or R498million, in headline earnings to Remgro.

The increase was attributed to an improved result in the chicken business unit, because of a revised business model, lower feed prices and improved realisations.

RCL Foods is a holding company with diversified interests that focuses on three segments: consumer, sugar and milling and logistics. The consumer segment consists of chicken, grocery, pies, beverages and speciality business units.

“At first we were concerned about listeriosis, but as you can see, RCL Foods assured the market that their operations have been cleared of any listeriosis outbreak. We have seen a complete turnaround in the chicken industry, and we hope the momentum will continue,” Durand said.

RCL Foods issued a statement on Friday saying it was pleased to state that tests conducted by an independent laboratory in France, which is considered to be a leading expert in this field, had confirmed that its Wolwehoek plant was clear of the ST6 listeria strain.

“Rainbow polony products from the Wolwehoek plant were recalled as a precautionary measure, and the plant temporarily closed.

“The recall does not affect any other RCL Foods’ facilities or products, including fresh and frozen Rainbow chicken,” RCL Foods said.

Durand added that the political changes that started in mid-December 2017 resulted in a more positive outlook being predicted for South Africa, and that Remgro shared this view.

“This general mood of optimism is mirrored in the strengthening of the rand and companies’ willingness to invest in the country and its future,” he said.

Remgro’s intrinsic net asset value a share increased by 5.7percent to R265.84 a share, from R251.48 at the end of June. The group declared an interim dividend of 204cents a share, which was up by 5.2percent.