BidCorp interim results December 2018
Revenue from continuing operations rose by 9.1% to R66.4 billion (R60.9 billion) whilst gross profit was 11.3% higher at R15.5 billion (R13.9 billion). Operating profit jumped 7.6% to R3.2 billion (R3 billion). Profit attributable to shareholders decreased to R1.9 billion (R2.1 billion). In addition, headline earnings per share from continuing operations went up 9.2% to 700.2 cents per share (641 cents per share).
In line with the Group dividend policy, the directors declared an interim gross cash dividend of 310 cents (248 cents net of dividend withholding tax, where applicable) per ordinary share for the half-year ended December 31 2018 to those members registered on the record date, being Friday, March 22 2019.
Bidcorp remains focused on growth opportunities in the wholesaling of food and allied products to the eat-out-of-home market; organically through achieving the appropriate customer mix, by selling more products and gaining new customers; via in-territory bolt-on acquisitions to expand our geographic reach or to expand our product ranges; and via strategic acquisitions to enter new markets, as and when these arise. Our mantra of "it's all about the food, the service and the technology" articulates our aim of delivering customer satisfaction backed by high service levels, efficient infrastructure and fit-for-purpose cost-effective products.
Fresh produce, meat, value-add processing and supply chain procurement initiatives all remain areas of further potential across all businesses in the Group. Our bespoke global ecommerce and CRM platform continues to evolve and embrace our best worldwide intellectual property, all leveraged for the greater benefit of the Group. Our service capability continues to improve as we further invest in our decentralised infrastructure programme to fulfil the strategic objective of getting as close as possible to the customer base. Shared innovations across the Group greatly enhance our speed of business development.
We retain significant financial headroom to enable us to decisively capitalise on the right opportunities, either organic or acquisitive, while always remaining disciplined in our overriding approach. Financially, the Group is strong and we expect cash generation to remain robust. Our objective is to generate above-average returns in each of our businesses in their home markets, notwithstanding macro-considerations and short-term volatility in various markets.
Bidcorp's strength lies in the experience of its entrepreneurial management teams who thrive within our decentralised Group culture. Despite some short-term challenges in our emerging markets, the fundamental demographic and industry drivers of our global foodservice markets remain positive, positioning the Group to continue to deliver real earnings growth for the full year.