Astral Foods sets sights on further growth
By Marc Hasenfuss - Feb 9th 2018, 08:52
Astral Foods, the "big bird" of the JSE’s poultry sector, assured shareholders at Thursday’s annual meeting that management would not be resting on its laurels after a hugely profitable 2017 financial year.
In the year to end-September Astral almost doubled headline earnings to R735m, or 1899c per share, with the poultry segments margins fattened up to 6.4% as trading conditions improved after a prolonged period of drought. The company also declared a bumper final dividend of 875c per share to bring the full year payout to 1,055c per share.
Noting that Astral had shown improvement in operating efficiencies over the past few years, Opportune Investments CEO Chris Logan asked whether there was not a risk management might rest on its laurels.
Astral CEO Chris Schutte said management looked to improve the business on a day-to-day basis and would never rest on their laurels. He said recent further improvements to the agricultural side of the business were already paying off.
"If you don’t farm right, you won’t sell chickens. We supply what the market wants."
Schutte said the IQF (individually quick frozen) business, which rival Rainbow Chickens largely exited in 2016, was proving a brilliant product in SA.
"Our selling strategy is working for us. We have further entrenched our sales and marketing function by hiring 18 more people to grow sales."
He reckoned Goldi was now the best-known IQF brand in Africa. Schutte said Astral was also making strong gains in the higher-margin quick service restaurant market and was "almost the sole supplier" to fast food conglomerate Famous Brands. He said Astral was also supplying KFC and Nando’s.
Vunani Securities analyst Anthony Clark believed Astral was poised for a strong 2018 financial year. "The cycle is with them and there have been much firmer poultry prices after the festive season, traditionally a weak period."
© BusinessLIVE MMXVIII
Kraft Heinz reined in costs and increased prices — and it worked
05/11/2019 - 11:28
Kraft Heinz beat analyst expectations for third-quarter profit on Thursday as the packaged food company reined in costs and increased prices in the face of slowing demand for some of its key brands.
Shoprite shares in dramatic U-turn after update
05/11/2019 - 09:04
Shoprite’s share price jumped by 6% in opening trading on Monday after the group reported turnover growth of more than 7% in the three months to September. But by later afternoon, its share price was down almost a percent.
Double-digit profit growth for Pick n Pay as turnaround plan pays off
22/10/2019 - 09:12
Pick n Pay has continued to reap the benefits of its turnaround strategy, positing double-digit profit growth in the six months to end-September after an intensive focus on supply costs.
Rising feed costs clip Astral’s wings
11/10/2019 - 09:06
Astral Foods, SA’s largest poultry producer, said that rising feed costs and disappointing consumer spending patterns would crop its earnings in the year to end June.
First profit increase in two years for H&M
03/10/2019 - 12:59
H&M posted its first rise in quarterly pretax profit in more than two years on Thursday as the world's second-biggest fashion retailer said its drive to meet rapid changes in the market was on track.