SOUTH AFRICA – Politics, the weather, and supply problems were among the issues fizzy drinks maker Bowler Metcalf blamed for its flat performance in the six months to end-December.

The holding company of SoftBev and Bowler Plastics reported a 3% decline in revenue to US$24.14 million and a 1% decline in after-tax profit to US$3.1 million for continuing operations.

SoftBev was accounted for as a discontinued operation which is being held for sale.

Including SoftBev, Bowler Metcalf reported it turned to an attributable profit of US$4.26 million from a loss of US$3.13 million in the matching period.

“SoftBev delivered to Bowler a US$1.106 million profit, a respectable turnaround from the losses of prior year,” Bowler Metcalf CEO Friedel Sass said in the results statement.

“Amidst the backdrop of deafening noise levels orchestrated by some of our political, auditing and business elitarians in this reported period, the Bowler business was burdened with changeable weather, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) material force majeure shortages, material price escalations and mixed consumer market performances in a strained consumer environment,” Sass said.

“The capricious weather in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal over the festive season affected consumer purchases strongly.

The Western Cape region performed well.

The business interventions of the prior period assisted the national business to recover margins on reasonable volumes.”

Bowler Metcalf declared a 20.48cents interim dividend, a 6% increase from 19.32cents in the matching period.

Business Day