Brian Joffe’s investment group Long4Life, which owns beauty chain Sorbet and Chill Beverages, said focus on its cash flow had helped to ensure a marginal half-year profit even as Covid-19 disrupted trading.

The group reported profit of R7.56m in its six months to end-August, from profit of R131.3m previously, while revenue fell almost a quarter to R1.42bn.

Long4Life holds a portfolio of assets in the leisure and lifestyle sectors and is currently structured into three operating divisions: sport and recreation; beverages; and personal care and wellness.

Sorbet, which has 211 outlets, was unable to trade until the end of June, and, when it opened, operated with restricted capacity. Revenue for Sorbet fell 69%, the group said.

The group’s drinks businesses, Inhle Beverages and Chill Beverages, operated through the lockdown, though at significantly reduced volumes, partly due to the suspension of alcohol sales. Revenue in that division fell by about 24% to R500.8m.

Long4Life said it was pleased with its response to Covid-19, and had managed its cash well.

The group monitored its inventory levels and future stock purchases and encouraged its businesses to continue to invest in marketing initiatives to raise awareness of the brands.

“We also focused on enhancing our online shopping capabilities with investment in this area during the period,” the statement read.

Joffe said on Wednesday that Long4Life’s portfolio was positioned for growth.

“The cost base has been realigned and we have enhanced management’s focus on funds employed,” he said.