S AFRICA: Pioneer cautious over future
South Africa's Pioneer Foods has sounded a note of caution after announcing mixed full-year profits.
For the year ending 30 September, the food manufacturer posted a 207% rise in headline earnings to ZAR726m (US$86.6m), although adjusted headline earnings were down 18% because of the first payment of last year's ZAR500m fine over alleged price fixing within its flour, corn-processing and bread divisions. Revenue rose 7% to ZAR17bn, while net cash generated from operations amounted to ZAR1bn.
CEO Andre Hanekom said soft egg prices and heightened competitor activity in the fruit concentrate mixture category, together with a "poor" raisin crop, added to margin pressure, but was quietly confident going forward.
"Vigilant margin maintenance and consumer-focused product innovation places the group in a favourable position to participate in profitable volume growth."
However, a company statement warned that inflationary cost pressures and shifting consumer spending patterns will influence Pioneer's financial performance in the new financial year.
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