As consumer confidence remained rooted at the 2018 low of 7-points in the fourth quarter of 2018, tough times lie ahead for SA’s food producers, according to analysts. The flat consumer sentiment spells despair for consumers facing sectors because of deteriorating disposable income. Consumer brands group AVI, the owner of household names such as Five Roses, Willards, Koffiehuis and Bakers, on Friday warned of flat interim sales and a 7% decline in headline earnings in the six months ended December 31 2018. AVI shares were down 8.68% to R95.45 on Friday.

“The trading environment remained difficult with continued pressure on consumer spending resulting in sales volumes weakness in many of our businesses and was exacerbated by competitor discounting in some categories,” AVI said. The company, whose fashion brands business includes Lacoste, Carvela, Spitz and Green Cross, said December sales volumes were lower than in 2017. It said operating profit was lower than the previous corr...

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