Boxes of Jungle Oats, one of South Africa's Tiger Brands original products. Picture: REUTERS, MIKE HUTCHINGS
Boxes of Jungle Oats, one of South Africa's Tiger Brands original products. Picture: REUTERS, MIKE HUTCHINGS

Tiger Brands has made changes in the group’s executive committee following SA’s deadly outbreak of listeriosis in the first half of the year.

The outbreak, which has so far killed nearly 200 people, cost the food producer R365m in the period. This amounts to 15% of headline earnings per share in the six months to March.

The disease outbreak continues to cost Tiger Brands R50m a month, according to group chief financial officer Noel Doyle, who will now also be responsible for the company’s value-added meat products (Vamp) segment, where the group’s listeriosis woes began.

This comes after Grattan Kirk, chief growth officer of the consumer brands division, under which Vamp operates, resigned to pursue an opportunity in retail. He will be leaving Tiger Brands in late June.

Pending Kirk’s replacement, the remainder of the consumer brands portfolio — with the exception of Vamp — will report to Pieter Spies, who is chief growth officer of the group’s grains division.

Tiger Brands reported a 4% drop in revenue to R15.7bn on pricing competition and lower overall volumes of 1.6% in the six months to March.

Group CEO Lawrence MacDougall said in late May when reporting the interim results that "it’s not a performance that we are proud of".

Pricing had been fierce in the market, he said.

He said the effects of the listeriosis outbreak had been "very small" on other Tiger Brands brands and the company had "so far found no reason to believe it was not complying" with safety standards".

Tiger Brands said on Tuesday that Yokesh Maharaj would join the group from early July as chief growth officer for the exports and international division, as well as snacks, treats and beverages under the consumer brands division.

"Our strategic review identified Africa as a key part of our growth strategy and Yokesh will lead the development and execution of this strategy," Tiger Brands said.

Maharaj was previously Distell’s MD for Africa. Before joining Distell, he spent 17 years at South African Breweries as both executive director for sales and distribution and executive director for human capital.

allixm@bdfm.co.za