Clover’s share price climbed 4.11% after it said it expected a threefold increase in full-year headline earnings per share. Earnings per share for the year to June were expected to increase by as much as 155%. Clover attributed the expected increase in earnings to, among other things, lower input costs, aggressive fixed control measures, the introduction of new products, and reduced interest charges due to lower capital spend. The expected surge in earnings was achieved despite what it said was an unfavourable macro environment characterised by rising unemployment, a contraction in gross domestic product, rand volatility and continued price inflation. Clover said the introduction of sugar taxes and the 1% VAT increase had put a significant strain on consumer spending.

"Consequently, overall trading conditions were difficult and exacerbated by structural changes in the retail environment which included aggressive pricing from competitors. Additionally, the listeria outbreak res...

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