SOUTH AFRICA – Pioneer Foods has cautioned its shareholders to expect a decline in earnings for the six months to end March.

The company said it anticipated that its operating profit for the period to ease between 40 percent and 45 percent, down from R1.24 billion reported in 2016.

It said in a trading statement that adjusted headline earnings per share would also come down between 242.2 cents and 267c per share for the six months to end March, compared to the 479.3c as reported in 2016, representing a decline of between 44 and 49 percent.

The group said it attributed the decline to an impact of the Phase1 B-BBEE share-based payment charge and merger and acquisitions costs during the period.

The group is to release the results in two weeks.