Picture: 123RF/SURIYA DESATIT
Picture: 123RF/SURIYA DESATIT

Packing group Master Plastics said on Tuesday it was feeling the after-effects of the deadly listeriosis outbreak and the drought in the Western Cape.

The company said in a statement that the outbreak — which has since been contained — depressed the processed meats and spices markets in the six months to June, from the previous year. Last week, the government declared an end to the spread of the disease, which was traced to an Enterprise Foods factory in Limpopo.

Master Plastics also felt the effects of the ongoing debate on land expropriation without compensation, which it says has affected investment in the agricultural sector. The company manufactures and provides various products and solutions to customers operating in the agricultural, food, produce, dairy and general industrial markets.

Other vagaries included a weaker rand and higher oil prices, which pushed up polymer input prices. As a result, headline earnings per share are expected to have dropped by nearly a third in the six months to June, from the same period a year ago.

"These factors, together with a generally weak economy, an ever-increasing cost of living and increased taxes have resulted in a platform not conducive for trading during the first six months," the company said.

The share price was flat at R1.15 in late trade on the JSE, giving the company a market valuation of about R135m.

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