Marc Hasenfuss Editor-at-large

Plastics packager Bowler Metcalf, listed way back in the late 1980s, is arguably the most consistent long-term profit performer on the JSE. Throw in an enviable dividend payment record spanning more than three decades, and this has been a rewarding investment for punters that ply their trade outside the JSE’s top 40 index.

A true small-cap stock at a market value of less than R650m, Bowler has proved both resilient and flexible through numerous downturns. But I don’t think the company has had it quite as tough as now. The interim results confirm that even the leanest and meanest operations are buckling under the weight of the prolonged downturn — and anyone who has visited Bowler’s Spartan head office will know just how lean and mean this group is.

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