Astral Foods today (5 May) dropped its earnings forecast for the six months to 31 March.

The South African company said it expects earnings per share and headline earnings for the six months to be 35% to 40% lower respectively and 38% to 43% lower
than the corresponding period last year.
Earnings for the full year however, are still expected to exceed those for the 
2008 financial year, in line with the expectations expressed in the 2008 annual
Astral's six month results are expected to be published on 13 May.

Last month the company appointed Christian Ernest Schutte as CEO following the recent resignation of Nick Wentzel.

Schutte joined Astral Foods in 2002 and has been managing director of the animal nutrition division since July 2004.