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RCL – trading statement

Shareholders are advised that a reasonable degree of certainty exists that RCL” headline earnings per share (“HEPS”) and earnings per share (“EPS”) for the year ending June 2019 will be lower by at least 20% when compared to the year ended June 2018 (“comparative period”). Accordingly, HEPS will be at least 19.4 cents (20%) lower than the comparative period HEPS of 96.8 cents, and EPS will be at least 21.3 cents (20%) lower than the comparative period EPS of 106.6 cents.



A further trading statement will be released as soon as the Group has reasonable certainty on the expected HEPS and EPS ranges for the year ending June 2019.



The expected decline is largely attributable to the performance of the Sugar and Chicken business units.



The Sugar business unit”s performance is expected to be significantly down on the comparative period due to lower realised margins resulting from an adverse sales mix. Local market demand has been severely impacted by the implementation of the health promotion levy, negative health perceptions of sugar and uncontrolled imports, resulting in higher volumes of sugar being sold into the lower margin raw export market.



The Chicken business unit”s performance is also expected to be significantly down on the comparative period. The expected decline is largely a result of lower realised sales prices stemming from an oversupplied retail poultry market, as import levels remain high. This is coupled with higher feed input costs which could not be fully recovered, due to the depressed selling prices.



Our Grocery brands have continued to perform strongly in the second half of the year.



EPS for the year ending June 2019 is expected to be higher than HEPS, largely due to the profit from dormant farm sales and the profit on disposal of the Speciality business unit”s prepared lines.



The Group”s financial results for the year ending June 2019 are expected to be released on SENS on 2 September 2019. The directors take responsibility for the financial information on which this trading statement is based, which has not been reviewed and reported on by the Group”s external auditors.