SOUTH AFRICAGrand Parade Investments on Friday announced that Alan Keet is resigning as chief executive officer and director of the Western-Cape based holding company.

Keet, who was in the position for close on four years, will now take over as CEO of GPI’s foods division with effect from March 20 2017.

The food division includes international brands Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins.

According to Grand Parade Investments, Keet was already assigned operational responsibility for the foods division in March last year to help steer the Burger King franchise towards profitability.

“In the past twelve months Mr Keet has achieved the objectives that were set for him and has made significant progress in the establishment of a substantial Foods division.

“Given the relative size of the Foods division in the GPI investment portfolio, the GPI board believes it appropriate that Mr Keet focus entirely on the Foods division going forward.”

Earlier this week, GPI said in a trade update it expects basic earnings per share for the six months to end-December 2016 to be between 6.80 cents and 7.37c per share, which equates to an increase of between 20% and 30% compared to the previous comparable period.

However, the company expects headline earnings per share to be between 0.72c and 0.92c/share, which equates to a decrease of between 55% and 65% compared to the previous period.

The increase in basic earnings per share is mostly as a result of a R48.5m profit, net of capital gains tax, on the disposal of 19.9% of GPI Slots, which was concluded during the period.

The decrease in headline earnings per share can be attributed to two main factors: GPI’s disposal of 10% of SunWest International, which was concluded on June 30 2016 and has resulted in a reduced contribution of R20.5m (when compared to December 31 2015) and the initial investment of R13.7m in the launch of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins.

GPI said the decrease in headline earnings per share must be viewed in conjunction with the effect that the disposal has had on the balance sheet.

During the review period, GPI received proceeds of R547.5m from the disposal and utilised R281.2m to repay debt and reduce its gearing to 16.5% at December 31 2016.

In addition, R112m of the proceeds was utilised to pay a 25c/share dividend on December 28 2016, GPI said.

GPI shares were trading 0.83% firmer at R3.65 by 09:50 on the JSE.

March 17, 2017;