2019-02-14

RCL - trading statement


Shareholders are advised that RCL FOODS" headline earnings per share ("HEPS") for the six months ended December 2018 ("current period") is expected to be between 53.0 cents (-28.9%) and 57.0 cents (-23.5%) when compared to the reported HEPS of 74.5 cents for the six months ended December 2017 ("corresponding period").

Earnings per share ("EPS") for the current period is expected to be between 65.0 cents (-15.3%) and 69.0 cents (-10.0%) when compared to the reported EPS of 76.7 cents for the corresponding period. EPS for the current period includes a profit from farm sales and is therefore expected to be higher than HEPS.

The earnings decline was largely attributable to the difficult trading conditions experienced in the Sugar and Chicken business units over the past six months.

The Sugar business unit"s result is expected to be significantly down on the corresponding period, as dumped imports and lower domestic demand resulted in a higher proportion of export volumes at depressed international prices.

The Chicken business unit"s result is also expected to be down on the corresponding period. The decline is largely a result of continued high levels of imports driving retail prices lower, the lingering impact of the Listeriosis crisis on the Rainbow brand and rising feed input costs. Chicken"s result includes a profit from dormant farm sales of R105.0 million following the decision to downsize the KZN operations.

Pleasingly the Group"s Grocery brands continue to perform strongly.

The Group"s financial results for the current period are expected to be released on SENS on 4 March 2019.

The financial information on which this trading statement is based has not been reviewed and reported on by the Group"s external auditors.