Bidvest, the diversified industrial holding company, reported a sparkling set of operating and financial results for the six months to December 2021.
The group is optimistic that an economic recovery is taking hold. Bidvest has been known to be a bell weather for South Africa, and it appears to be experiencing an uptick following a relaxation of Covid pandemic regulations. The company recorded a double-digit trading profit of 24.8%, with loss-making operations now turning profitable due to proactive restructuring initiatives.
The Freight division was the star performer on the back of record maize exports volumes, and buoyant commodity demand. And Bidvest is expecting a strong second half for exports. The branded and commercial products businesses also both showed strong growth in trading profits.
The services division, of which hygiene is a major profit center, is benefiting from the re-opening of the hospitality sector well as from people returning to their offices.
Bidvest is a large-scale supplier to the mining industry in SA, with a positive outlook for the year ahead.
Four acquisitions in the UK and Ireland have continued to build critical mass on established operations, mainly in the niche area of hygiene services and products. Offshore operations made a positive contribution to group profits.
The company says that it has a strong pipeline for facilities management and hygiene in the year ahead, with the continuous focus on the capital light aspects of these operations. Cash generated from operations was a sturdy R7 bn before investments of R3 bn in working capital.
Group HEPS increased by 37% to 852.9c with the interim dividend rising by 31% to R3.80, a testament to consistent delivery to shareholders. The diversity of the business model is a positive aspect in times of global volatility.