No rotten tomatoes at AH-Vest

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No rotten tomatoes at AH-Vest

Published Date: 2018-03-26 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

No rotten tomatoes at AH-Vest

The maker of All Joy tomato sauce expects first-half profit to be 167% higher

AH-Vest has flagged a sharp rise in first-half profit as its new tomato paste factory in Tzaneen starts producing bulk tomato paste.

In a trading statement on Friday, the group said earnings and headline earnings per share for the six months ended December were likely to be 167% higher than a year earlier at 2.27c. It gave no reason for the expected increase but said last year that the Limpopo facility would result in improved efficiencies and costs for the food producer. It would also reduce South Africa's dependency on imported tomato paste.

AH-Vest has also set up a canning factory nearby to take up the additional production from farmers in Limpopo, the country's biggest tomato-growing region. The new processing plant will increase AH-Vest's capacity to 750 tons a day, to produce about a third of the country's tomato paste requirement. AH-Vest says it will also help dent high unemployment in Limpopo.

AH-Vest's holding company, Easter Trading Company, is exploring the installation of a 10MW solar farm at its Eikenhoff premises, which had to resort to running day and night shifts last year due to power shortages. It says the solar farm has the potential to reduce its electricity expenses by moving it off the grid.

Last year's profit was also dented by a large tax bill.

Its shares surged 61% to 45c in thin trade on Friday.



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