Spitz store at Rosebank Mall which is owned by AVI. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/MASI LOSI
Spitz store at Rosebank Mall which is owned by AVI. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/MASI LOSI

Consumer goods group AVI on Monday reported a 7.5% increase in first-half headline earnings per share (HEPS) to R3.26, which was in line with its previous guidance.

AVI competes with established players such as Tiger Brands and Pioneer Foods for a share of supermarket shelves, but it also owns fashion brands and a fishing business.

Some of the brands include Five Roses, House of Coffees, Bakers, I&J, Yardley, Lentheric, Spitz, Carvela and Kurt Geiger.

The relatively stronger rand in the six months to end-December helped to alleviate cost pressures, enabling the company to keep selling prices stable, which in turn led to increased volumes in some of the group’s product categories.

Group net profit rose 7.6% to R1.06bn, outpacing revenue that rose 2.3% to R7.30bn.

Food and beverage brands, which incorporate Entyce Beverages, Snackworks and I&J, realised operating profit of R1.05bn, up 8.9% on the year-earlier period.

Fashion brands, which are made up personal care, and foot and apparel businesses, achieved an operating profit of R482.7m, up 7.3% from last year.

AVI expects operating environment to remain challenging heading into second half of the financial year, although it said a stronger rand would provide support.

"We will continue to react quickly to market changes as we pursue the most appropriate balance of price, sales volumes and profit margins for each of our brands."

An interim dividend of R1.75c was declared, up 8% on the year-earlier period.