RCL FOODS – FURTHER TRADING STATEMENT
Shareholders are referred to the trading statement published on SENS on 4 June 2019. RCL reported that it”s headline earnings per share (“HEPS”) and earnings per share (“EPS”) for the year ended June 2019 (“current period”) would be lower by at least 20% when compared to the year ended June 2018 (“comparative period”), and that a further trading statement would be published as soon as the Group had reasonable certainty on the expected HEPS and EPS ranges for the current period.
Shareholders are advised that RCL expects its HEPS for the current period to be between 32 cents (-66.9%) and 44 cents (- 54.5%) when compared to the reported HEPS of 96.8 cents for the comparative period.
The expected decline is largely attributable to the challenged performance of the Sugar and Chicken business units, as highlighted in the trading statement published on 4 June 2019.
The Sugar business unit is expected to report a significant operating loss for the year driven by lower local market demand, primarly due to the implementation of the Health Promotion Levy (sugar tax). This resulted in a higher proportion of production having to be exported at low international sugar prices, adversely impacting the business unit”s sales mix and hence margins. The impact of the sugar tax is expected to result in a permanent reduction in local market demand that is significantly higher than initial estimates. Due to the depressed sugar outlook, we have performed a detailed impairment review on the assets of the Sugar cash generating unit, resulting in a R761,9 million (R552,5 million post-tax) impairment on property, plant and equipment and goodwill in the current year.
The difficult trading environment for Chicken has continued unabated, with local volume and dumped imports driving market oversupply and negatively impacting pricing amidst a rising feed cost cycle.
Largely due to the Sugar impairment, which is excluded from the calculation of HEPS, EPS for the current period is expected to be lower than HEPS and between negative 8 cents (-107.5%) and negative 18 cents (-116.9%) when compared to the reported EPS of 106.6 cents for the comparative period.
The Group”s financial results for the current period are expected to be released on SENS on 2 September 2019.