Bidvest cushioned by diverse operations


Bidvest cushioned by diverse operations

Published Date: 2018-11-29 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Bidvest cushioned by diverse operations

The industrial group says increased volumes in certain sectors and acquisitions will help it deliver "acceptable" growth this year.

The diversity of Bidvest's operations has helped it through a tough patch for the local economy. While its businesses exposed to the infrastructure, construction and manufacturing sectors have witnessed further contraction in demand, it says it has benefitted from the continuation of good agricultural volumes, the investment and capacity increase in liquid storage tanks, and growing demand for everyday essential consumer products. Many of its operations are also annuity in nature, providing it with a steady income.

In a four-month update ahead of its annual general meeting yesterday, the group said almost all divisions grew their trading results over the period. It said increased volumes in certain sectors and acquisitions would help it to deliver "acceptable" growth for the full year. Last year, the group bought Irish facilities management business Noonan and has since added a number of small bolt-on acquisitions, with a few larger deals being finalised. It said it continued to evaluate opportunities, both locally and internationally.

It also continues to divest of non-core assets, raising R407 million from the sale of its remaining shares in Bidcorp at R320 per share. In Namibia, proceeds have been received from the Bidfish disposal and for most of its Angolan assets.

The group said progress on Bidvest Freight's R1 billion liquefied petroleum gas projects was on schedule, with civil work progressing well. The commissioning of the last six multi-purpose tanks in Richards Bay will be complete by the end of the year.

Its shares ended the day 2% up at R203.30.

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