South African poultry Quantum Foods has warned on its half-year profits.

In a statement released to the stock exchange today (24 March), Quantum said it expected a 38% drop in headline earnings per share for the six months to 31 March.

Quantum said a “reasonable degree of certainty” existed HEPS would be ZAR10cents per share lower when compared to the ZAR26.3cents per share for the prior corresponding period.

The company pointed to “significantly increased raw material costs” as a result of the drought in South Africa; lower production and sales volumes in the egg business as a result of diseases impacting poultry productivity; and lower earnings from African operations due to instability in currencies, higher input costs and lower sales volumes.

In its last full financial year, Quantum saw its profitability improve year-on-year but sales fell.

The financial results for Quantum’s first half will be released on or around 26 May.

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By GlobalData