The geographically
diverse food conglomerate unbundled from Bidvest in 2016 reported on Wednesday
morning that its revenue for the six months to end-December grew 8% to R61.5bn.

At Tuesday’s closing price of R264.15, Bidcorp had a market capitalisation of
R88.6bn, placing it ahead of Tiger Brands’s R85.5bn and making it the JSE’s
largest food group. Bidcorp segments its results into four geographic regions.
Its Europe division, which excludes the UK, grew revenue 20% to R19.6bn,
contributing nearly a third of the group’s total sales.

The results refer to a “free trade horeca business” – horeca is an
abbreviation used in Europe for the hotel, restaurant and caf industries –
which Bidcorp serves on the continent.

“Belgium’s revenue growth continued to beat expectations and trading
profit growth was pleasing. The catering segment maintained volumes in the face
of pressure, while the horeca and institutional channels exceeded budget. The
‘My BidOne’ e-commerce platform was successfully introduced,” CEO Bernard
Berson said in the results statement.

Bidcorp views its expertise in e-commerce as a key strength. “Our
investment in digital interaction with our customers is being leveraged off our
ability to intelligently interpret our significant data sets. The development
of BidOne, our bespoke global e-commerce and customer relationship management
platform, continues to ensure our best worldwide innovations are leveraged for
the greater benefit of the group,” Berson said. 

The UK was Bidcorp’s second-largest revenue generator at R16.2bn, narrowly
beating Australasia’s R15.9bn. Although Australasia’s contribution was only the
third-biggest revenue source, it contributed 31% of the group’s profit.

“Overall progress in Australia was highly satisfactory for a business that
recently opened three additional metro sites in Sydney, Melbourne and
Brisbane,” Berson said.

“New Zealand put in a strong second-quarter performance, offsetting a slow
start to the half year. Performance was driven by steady revenue growth,
supplemented by ongoing focus on imports and margin management.”

In SA, Bidcorp formed a joint venture with Belgium confectionery group Puratos.
“The new Chipkins Puratos joint venture made excellent progress. Puratos’s
knowledge and best practice are being implemented across the business,”
Berson said.

Bidcorp raised its interim dividend by 12% to R2.80 from R2.50 in the matching

Source: Bizcommunity