Somewhere in the last 10 years, packaging group Nampak changed from being a blue chip, proudly South African, best-in-class company, to an entity with limited direction and managers who wouldn't risk their own money in the hands of the group.

It swung to a loss of about R2.4bn in its six months to end-March, from a profit of R653.3m previously. Nampak revenue fell 17% to R6.5bn. Much of the decline in the group's profitability came from failed expansions into Africa with Nampak losing money in Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Angola.

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