Bidvest profits dip as Comair takes a hit from SAA
Headline earnings per share fell 10.5% in half year to end-December, partially due to a write-off of a settlement owed by national carrier
Services, trading and distribution group Bidvest, which owns more than a quarter of aviation group Comair, reported a double-digit decline in profit for its half year to end-December, partially due to SAA’s inability to pay its debts.
Headline earnings per share (HEPS) fell 10.5% to 563.2c, with the results affected by accounting changes, while it also was required to write down its share of Comair’s settlement with SAA over anticompetitive conduct related to a travel agent scheme.
Bidvest holds 27.2% of Comair, with that airline saying in February SAA had breached the terms of the settlement agreement “and that the full outstanding settlement amount of R790m as at 31 December 2019 became due in terms of the agreement”. But the company said it was uncertain if it could recover the amount from SAA.
Bidvest grew trading profit 19.8% to R4bn in its half year to end-December, boosted by its recent acquisitions, including having taken a controlling stake in drug maker Adcock Ingram in 2019.
The group declared an interim dividend of 282c per share, unchanged from the prior period.
In afternoon trade on Monday, Bidvest’s share price was up 1.82% to R183.28, having fallen 13.27% over the past 12 months.