Consumer goods group AVI — the owner of footwear retailer Spitz stores, Five Roses tea, and seafood company I&J — has opted to pay out R926m in a special dividend, citing strong cash generation and healthy debt levels, even as it continues to battle with the fallout from Covid-19.

The maker of Bakers biscuits and Willard’s Chips, which has a market value of R24.6bn, said the pandemic has had a mixed effect on its businesses, boosting parts of its snacks and beverages division, but hitting fashion and abalone sales...

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