The share price of poultry producer Astral Foods rose 8.4%, the biggest jump in more than a year, after it announced that it expected its earnings for the year to September to double. Astral said in a trading update on Wednesday that headline earnings per share was expected to rise 90%-100% for the year to September. Anthony Clark, an analyst at Vunani Securities, said the September 2018 financial results would be the peak of Astral’s earnings, largely because they would face higher feed costs. He said poultry producers had expected to receive exemption from VAT on their products, but that did not happen. “We have a great business here with an excellent management team, but higher input costs mean the upcoming 2018 results will be the best for them in this cycle,” he said.

“The first half of 2019 will benefit from firmer chicken prices in the festive season and also from the last of their R1,900 per ton yellow maize input cost procurement. But the second half will see higher i...

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