Denny Mushrooms, which Libstar produces, seen on a supermarket shelf. Picture: KEVIN SUTHERLAND/SUNDAY TIMES
Denny Mushrooms, which Libstar produces, seen on a supermarket shelf. Picture: KEVIN SUTHERLAND/SUNDAY TIMES

Low mushroom prices, a six-week strike, and foreign exchange losses were among the reasons Denny- and Lancewood-owner Libstar’s headline earnings halved, the recently listed food producer said in its maiden interim results on Tuesday morning.

Libstar achieved a R12.50 per share initial public offering price in May, and its share price has subsequently slumped to the R9.70 it last traded at.

The group’s overall revenue grew 14% to R4.5bn for the six months to end-June, boosted by the acquisitions of Sonnendal Dairies and Millennium Foods.

A 38% drop in interim net profit to R62m from R100m translated into its headline earnings per share (HEPS) halving to 12c from 23c.

Libstar said a six-week strike at Dickon Hall Foods cost it about R63m in lost revenue.

It lost a further R16m sales from commissioning glitches at its Montagu factory.

"Production at Dickon Hall Foods and Montagu is now fully online, with the group looking forward to the launch of new private-label wet condiments," CEO Andries van Rensburg said in the results statement.

Profits suffered from it swinging into foreign exchange losses of R32m from a gain of R30m in the matching period.

Correction: September 4 2018

This article has been amended to clarify that net profit fell to R62m from R100m.

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