Bidcorp Group sees improvements after second Covid-19 wave, says CFO David Cleasby

The foodservice group reported a R4.8 billion profit after difficult second and third quarters in 2021.

Bidcorp Group has seen improved results in all its markets for the 2021 fourth quarter and the 2022 first quarter, with sales at nearly 100 percent of 2019 levels. CFO David Cleasby said that the second and third quarters had been difficult in the northern hemisphere due to second wave Covid-19 restrictions.

“Operating conditions in hospitality markets fluctuate through the year depending on government interventions to control the pandemic, and South Africa’s hospitality markets continue to be heavily impacted by the lack of tourism and travel,” he said.

Fortunately, the group’s Australia, New Zealand and China markets traded well throughout the year, he added.

Bidcorp’s headline earnings per share from continuing operations rose 21.8 percent to 868.4 cents, and group trading profit increased 17.7 percent to R4.8 billion. Free cash flow from continuing operations increased to R4.7 billion from R2.7 billion and cash generated by operations before working capital was R7 billion. The group also reduced its net debt from R5.6 billion to R0.5 billion.

A final cash dividend of 400c per share was declared.