Astral Foods has flagged a plunge in profits in its interim results as record high feed input costs, the electricity crisis and the decay of municipal infrastructure drives up costs and hampers the poultry group’s operations.

One of SA’s largest suppliers of chicken to fast-food outlets, restaurants and hotels — valued at R7.3bn on the JSE — said it expects its headline earnings per share (HEPS), a common profit measure in SA that excludes certain items, and earnings per share (EPS) to drop 87%-92% year on year to 116c-189c and 114-185c, respectively, for the six months to end-March...

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