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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Rhodes Food Group, Coronation Fund Managers and Reinet Investments results, MMI Holdings operational update, PIC inquiry.

Here’s what caught our attention on Tuesday:

1. Rhodes Food Group results

Rhodes Food Group is reporting a 6% increase in operating profit to R172.7 million, while group turnover increased by 9.3% to R2.7 billion for the six months ended March 31, 2019. The company, which is a producer of fresh, frozen and long-life convenience meal solutions, also reported a 13.4% increase in turnover in its long-life food category, adding that strong performances were notable in its fruit juice, dry foods, canned vegetables and meat categories. The company says its brands have maintained market share across core product categories. Headline earnings increased by 2.1% to R84.1 million and diluted headline earnings per share increased by 2.2% to 32.1 cents. A dividend of 20.3 cents was paid to shareholders on January 14.

2. Coronation Fund Managers interims

Coronation Fund Managers says that during the six months ended March 31, 2019, its total assets under management remained flat at R586 billion from the R587 billion reported at the period ending in September 2018. The company’s revenue decreased by 22% to R1.6 billion, down from R2.1 billion in March 2018. Operating expenses decreased by 10% as a result of variable costs decreasing by 18%. The company says this therefore contributed to a 26% decrease in diluted and basic headline earnings per share to 165.1 cents, down from 223.4 cents in 2018. An interim dividend of 165 cents per share has been declared.

3. Reinet Investments results

Reinet Investments, the restructured product of Swiss-based luxury goods brand Richemont, is reporting a net asset value of €297 million for the year ended March 31, 2019, a decrease of 5.8% from €5.12 billion at March 31, 2018. The company’s net asset value per share amounted to €25.30, a marginal decrease from €26.17 in 2018. During the period, Reinet also completed a share buyback programme, in which it repurchased 5.02 million shares for a consideration of €68 million. The board is declaring a dividend of €0.19 per share, payable in September 2019.

Read: Richemont sets up virtual shop and scoops up the rewards

4. MMI Holdings operational update

Financial services company, MMI Holdings, has published its operational update for the nine months ended March 31, 2019, in which it highlights a 26% increase in normalised diluted headline earnings per share, reflecting the impact of the completion of its share buyback programme in 2019, adding that it is marginally better than expected. Normalised diluted headline earnings increased by 19% during the period, to R2.4 billion, on the back of solid profitability in Momentum Life and strong underwriting performance in the non-life insurance unit. The company says it is on track to achieve its three-year financial target of delivering normalised headline earnings of between R3.6 billion and R4.0 billion.

5. Evidence on ex-PIC CEO Matjila emerges at inquiry

Major details were spilled at the commission of inquiry into the PIC on Monday. Moneyweb is reporting that during Monday’s hearing, senior market risk analyst Tshifhango Ndadza, revealed that former PIC CEO, Dan Matjila had approved a deal worth R3 billion with Iqbal Surve’s Sagarmatha Technologies, without the knowledge of the PIC investment committees. It was confirmed that the deal was signed on December 13, 2017. The company approached the PIC in the hopes of raising between R3 billion and R7.5 billion ahead of its listing on the JSE. The deal however never materialised because the JSE withdrew the company’s listing for its failure to abide by the JSE’s deadlines. The commission continues on Tuesday.

Read: More evidence of Matjila overriding the PIC’s investment processes

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