The ups and downs of agribusiness

BKB, a co-operative based in Port Elizabeth, but with national representation in grain, wool, mohair, livestock and property, has issued a ‘profit warning’ for its June 2013 year-end results, which are expected on 23 September.

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BKB said losses in its grain division, along with a deterioration of its debtor’s book, had led to reduced levels of profitability from the previous year. In the 2012 financial year, BKB reported a turnover of R3,43 billion and operating profit of R166 million. The share prices, which were as high as 700c/share in the early part of 2013, were trading in the region of 550c/share on 19 August.

Clover, on the other hand, is finalising its results for the financial year ended 30 June 2013, which are expected on 17 September. Clover’s unaudited interim results for the six months ended 31 December 2012 saw headline earnings/share (HEPS) dropping 33.5% and earnings/share (EPS) falling 23.2% compared to the previous corresponding period. But the group now expects HEPS to lift by about 5% and EPS to climb 10%-20% from the prior year.

Investments in new products and platforms, as well as increases in fixed costs and costs associated with labour disruptions were said to be responsible for the decline in the six-month unaudited results.

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The improvement in the year-end results will largely be attributable to a higher selling price in the market during January 2013; reduced promotional activities following the selling price increases; cost-saving initiatives; and gains made on the weaker rand exchange rate by African subsidiaries, said Clover.