Micro-cap food group AH-Vest, which produces tomato sauces and other condiments, says it expects a bump in interim profits after improving production and controlling costs.

The maker and distributor of All Joy tomato and Veri Peri sauces said headline earnings per share, a widely-used profit measure that excludes one-off items, was expected to rise between 48% and 58% in the six months to end-December — or a rise of as much of R2.08m.

The Alt-X listed group, which is valued at R53m, had reported supply chain disruptions in early 2020 as a result of Covid-19, but had operated as an essential service, and had said demand for its products remained strong.

Headline earnings per share in its 2020 year had risen 35%, with the group saying at the time it was also pleased that its exports had more than doubled.

In the half-year to December 2019, the group had also reported electricity-related disruptions, and had said it had begun installing its own cabling “to salvage the situation” after undertakings from Eskom failed to materialise.

It had also said its overall dependence on its top three customers decreased nine percentage points to 64%, mainly due to the growth in independent trade customers.

“This is a positive outcome as the efforts to market into the non-retail market are bearing fruit and management will continue to focus on growing this side of the business,” it said at the time.

In afternoon trade on Monday, the group’s little-traded share was unchanged at 52c, and has more than quadrupled over the past 12 months.


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