Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Grand Parade Investments, Ascendis Health and Sun International results, load shedding and PwC’s Steinhoff investigation.
Grand Parade Investments opened four more Burger King outlets in 2018. Picture: Victor Moriyama, Bloomberg

Here’s what caught our attention on Monday:

1. Grand Parade Investment results

Investment company, Grand Parade Investments, which placed its Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins brands under liquidation as a result of poor performance, is reporting a 28% increase in revenue, while headline earnings per share from continuing operations increased to 1.28 cents. For the six months ended December 31, 2018, Grand Parade also highlighted an increase in headline earnings to R16.0 million in 2018, compared with the R13.7 million previously reported. The company which invests in the food and gaming sectors also announced the opening of four Burger King outlets during the period. No dividend has been declared.

2. Ascendis Health results

Ascendis Health, which has been battling to service its debt, is reporting a 10% fall in normalised headline earnings per share to 72.5 cents, while normalised headline earnings fell 6% to R351 million for the six months ended December 31, 2018. The company’s normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased 1% to R684 million and group revenue increased 3% to R3.96 billion. The board says it is involved in ongoing negotiations regarding the disposal of its Remedica business unit. No dividend is being declared for the period.

3. Load shedding to intensify

The load shedding spell is set to intensify over the week, as it enters its fifth consecutive day on Monday. Power outages were implemented across South Africa over the weekend, with certain areas seeing hours of no electricity as stage four load shedding was rolled out. The crisis remains dire and poses a major economic risk. The country’s leaders are due to meet with Eskom to find a working solution to stabilise the grid and end power cuts.

Read more here and here.

4. Sun International results

Leisure and luxury hotel owner, Sun International says trading in South Africa remained tough as a result of a weak economy, Vat increase and weakening rand during the year ended December 31, 2018. The firm which operates in eight countries, added that trading in Chile improved during the second half of the year. The company’s continued adjusted headline earnings operations decreased to R472 million and adjusted headline earnings per share increased by 4% to 316 cents. No dividend has been declared for the period.

5. PwC investigation’s Steinhoff revelations

Auditing firm PwC, which had been mandated to investigate the financials of fallen retailer, Steinhoff, released its findings late on Friday. The investigation highlighted that the group of former executives inflated profits and asset values for personal benefit. The forensic report revealed how the dodgy deals and transactions which executives were involved in were artificially boosted over the years. The release of the report means Steinhoff can proceed with the publishing of its 2017/2018 results.

Read: Steinhoff to dig deeper into $7.4bn of dodgy deals


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