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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

August total vehicle sales, Absa PMI, Bidvest, Stadio and Sun International results, state capture inquiry enters its third week.
Bidvest reports a 11.9% increase in headline earnings. Picture: Supplied

Here’s what caught our attention on Monday:

1. Economic data

The data for South Africa’s total vehicle sales for August will be released on Monday. In July new vehicle sales rose to 47 881 from 46 678 in June.

Absa Manufacturing PMI for August fell to 43.4 rom 51.5 in July, driven by large declines in new sales and business activity, survey shows. 

2. Bidvest group results 

Bidvest is reporting an 11.9% increase in headline earnings to R4.1 billion, while headline earnings per share increased by 11.1% to 1 231.6 cents per share and normalised headline earnings per share increased by 12.5%. The company’s trading profit also increased by 8.2% to R6.5 billion for the year ended June 30, 2018. The group says there is continued strong investment in South Africa, with R3.7 billion spent on acquisitions. A final dividend of 301 cents per share has been declared for the period, up 14%.

3. Stadio results

Stadio, which focuses its investments in private higher education, is reporting an increase in headline earnings per share to 3.5 cents from 0.8 cents the prior year, for the six months ended June 30, 2018. The company’s core headline earnings per share increased significantly to R32 million from R3 million the previous year. Stadio is attributing its growth to organic growth and its acquisitive plan. Its student base grew in both contact learning (16%) and distance learning students (9%). No dividend is being declared for the period.

4. Sun International results

Luxury hotel and casino owner, Sun International is reporting a drop in adjusted headline earnings to R115 million for the six months ended June 30, 2018, this compares to the R206 million in headline earnings reported the previous year. Diluted headline earnings per share fell from 198 cents per share to 105 cents during the period.

5. State capture inquiry enters its third week

South Africa has many stories to tell, whether it’s glorified or about the crooks that tried to hijack the country — they’re all thrilling. Speaking of — the state capture inquiry enters its third week. So far we have heard the testimonies of former deputy finance minister, Mcebisi Jonas, ANC MP Vytjie Mentor, former head of government communications, Themba Maseko and acting GCIS director-general, Phumla Williams, who will be continuing her testimony on Monday.

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