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South Africa-based poultry processor Astral Foods is to see CEO Chris Schutte take a period of leave to undergo surgery.

In a stock-exchange filing today (14 August), Astral said Schutte, who has been the company’s chief executive for a decade, is to have cardiovascular surgery next Monday.

Astral described the surgery as “a high-risk surgical intervention with an extended recovery period”, adding: “Mr Schutte’s return to office will be communicated
at an appropriate time.”

The business, which generated sales of ZAR12.98bn (US$844m) in its last full financial year, said CFO Daan Ferreira would be “the central contact person during Chris’ absence”.

Astral’s current financial year is scheduled to end on 30 September. In the six months to the end of March, the company’s revenue rose 3% to ZAR6.78bn but its operating profit fell 51% to ZAR503bn. Astral’s headline earnings slid 52% to ZAR368m.

The group pointed to feed input costs that increased “markedly” and a fall in the selling prices for poultry.

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By GlobalData