Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Stadio, RCL Foods and Bidvest Group results, State Capture Inquiry zooms into Eskom, rand update.
RCL Foods's sugar and chicken business units faced challenges during the second half of 2018. Picture: Supplied

Here’s what caught our attention on Monday:

1. Stadio results

Stadio is reporting an increase in headline earnings per share to 7.8 cents for the year ended December 31, 2018. This is comparable to the 1.2 cents per share reported in the previous period. Core headline earnings per share also increased to 8.6 cents from 0.6 cents previously. Stadio, which invests in private higher education institutions, reported an increase in student numbers from 12 976 to 29 885. The company’s revenue grew to R633 million. No dividend is being declared for the period.

2. RCL Foods results

The second half of 2018 proved to be a bad year for food producer RCL Foods, as it saw headline earnings per share decline by 26.4% to 54.8 cents, while headline earnings fell by 26.3% to R475.1 million for the six months ended December 31, 2018. The company attributes reduced growth to challenges in the sugar and chicken business units, due to ‘lower prices realised, mainly due to oversupply’. Higher commodity and transport costs also negatively affected margins across the board. A dividend of 15.0 cents per share has been declared.

3. Bidvest Group results

Trading and services company Bidvest emerged with a positive set of results for the six months ended December 31, 2018, as headline earnings saw an increase of 10.0% to R2.1 billion and headline earnings per share increased by 9.6% to 629.1 cents, respectively. The company says a strong balance sheet with conservative gearing was maintained during the period. An interim dividend of 282 cents per share was declared, up 10.6%.

4. State Capture inquiry zooms in on Eskom

The State Capture inquiry is not leaving any loose ends as far as state utility Eskom is concerned. The inquiry is entering its third week of its investigation into Eskom. The power utility’s board chairperson, Jabu Mabuza, and treasurer, Andre Pillay, have already taken the stand to share their testimonies. Monday will see funding executive in Eskom’s treasury department, Sincedile Shweni disclose his version of events.

5. Rand update

International affairs are still negatively impacting the rand, which was trading at R14.19 to the US dollar on Monday at 9:40. The fallout between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un at the summit in Vietnam affected most emerging markets, while decisions relating to Brexit continue to loom.

Read: US, China said near deal that could end most US tariffs

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