Here’s what caught our attention on Monday:
1. Election round-up; ANC wins
The Xs on the ballots are telling indeed. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC was able to attract the confidence of South African voters as the party has won 57.5% of the parliamentary vote, while retaining eight of South Africa’s nine provinces. The opposition party, the DA retained power over the Western Cape. The president’s real work starts now, as plans to kick off the land reform process, economic growth and employment are on the books. Ramaphosa’s new presidential term should commence at the end of the month, after nomination by the ANC’s parliamentary caucus and an inauguration ceremony.
2. Astral Foods results
Poultry producer, Astral Foods is reporting a significant decline of 52% in headline earnings per share to R9.49 from R19.59, during the six months ended March 31, 2019. The company’s earnings per share also fell by 52%, while operating profit decreased by 51% to R503 million on the back of a R570 million decline in poultry profitability to R258 million. Astral adds that increases in the feed price and production costs could not be recovered by increasing sales realisations due to poor consumer confidence. An interim dividend of R4.75 has been declared.
3. Vodacom results
Vodacom is reporting improved performance across all sectors as its customer base increases by 5.8%. It also announced the conclusion of its R16.4 billion BEE ownership deal and unlocked R7.5 billion in value for YeboYethu shareholders. Vodacom’s group service revenue increased 5.0% to R74.2 billion while group revenue increased 4.3% to R90.1 billion. Earnings per share decreased to 867 cents and a final dividend of 400 cents per share has been declared. Chief executive officer, Shameel Joosub, says South Africa’s service revenue increased by 2.1% despite the challenging economic environment while its international portfolio delivered a ‘stellar’ performance.
4. Netcare results
During the six months ended March 31, 2019, private hospital group, Netcare is reporting a 2.4% increase in adjusted headline earnings per share, while group revenue from continuing operations increased by 5.6% to R10.52 billion from R9.96 billion in 2018. Normalised Ebitda increased by 1.3% to R2.10 billion and normalised profit was 0.9% higher. The company says its performance was resilient but the number of medical scheme members remained stagnant. The number of hospital networks introduced by medical schemes had however accelerated. An interim dividend of 47.0 cents has been declared, up 6.8%.
5. Calgro results
Housing developer, Calgro M3 admits to facing a number of challenges in the residential property development business, including risks relating to relationships with municipalities and local communities. It was, however, able to generate R298 million from its operations and sell 4 436 units for the year ended February 28, 2019. The company has disclosed that its property development business will only focus on Gauteng, the Western Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Free State in the short to medium term. The board has resolved not to declare a dividend during the period.