SA based Astral, RCL expect improvement in earnings following improved performance

SOUTH AFRICA – Astral Foods Limited, South Africa’s leading integrated poultry producer, has announced that it expects to double its interim earnings and headline earnings in the six months to March 31, 2022.

According to the JSE listed company, its headline earnings per share would be at least 1 194 cents compared with 597c for the comparative period in 2021.

Earnings a share would be at least 1 184 cents compared with 592c in the comparative period in 2021.

This signifies a 100% jump in earnings, attributed to the fact that the comparative figures of 2021, were negatively impacted by the Covid-19-related lockdown impact on the economy and the resultant constrained consumer spending.

“At the time, Astral’s poultry operations could not recover significant increases in feed costs through the selling price of poultry products, resulting in a relatively low base against which the expected results for the interim period are compared,” the company said yesterday.

Also, the performance of the first quarter of the 2022 financial year reflected an improvement in poultry margins. This was mainly due to higher poultry sales volumes and improved net selling prices.

The level of earnings experienced during the first quarter of 2022, is expected to continue through the second quarter of Astral’s 2022 financial year, delivering the expected EPS and HEPS profiled above.

Astral Foods produces and supplies animal feeds, broiler genetics, breeder and broiler production and does the sale of chicks.

According to its latest financial statement, the owner of Tigerchicks and County fair, reported a 13.9% rise in revenue in the full year ended 30 September 2021 to R15.9 billion (US$1.04 billion), an increase from prior year’s R13.9 billion (US$912m).

Its poultry division contributed 81%, feed division 17% and other Africa division 2% to total external revenue.

Revenue from the poultry division increased by 15.3% with feed division turn-over rising by 18.9%, with earnings from continued operations in other African markets declining by 6.7%.

RCL forecasts jump in earnings by not less than 15%

Still in the South African country, consumer goods and milling company, RCL Foods, expects its headline earnings per share to increase between 15% and 27%, for the six months ended December 31 due to solid performances from all divisions.

In the previous corresponding period, the food processor reported HEPS of 59.7c, which is expected to jump to between 69c and 76c.

Meanwhile, Earnings per share (EPS) for the period under review are also expected to be between 13.6% and 25% higher year-on-year at between 70c and 77c. That compares with EPS of 61.6c reported in 2020.

The owner of Ouma Rusks, Yum Yum peanut butter and Selati sugar brands, exhibited stellar performance in its previously completed financial year ended June 2021.

The company reported a 14% rise in full year revenue to R31.7 billion (US$2.21 billion).

More notable is that the group almost posted an eight-fold increase in headline earnings by 736% to R958.1 million (US$66.94m), from a loss last year after write-downs of around R1.5 billion (US$104m) due to the Covid-19 financial fallout.

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