There’s been plenty of food for thought in company results released over the past fortnight, in particular relating to matters of margin. I discerned a new flavour coming to the fore at Remgro’s much-maligned consumer brands subsidiary RCL Foods. The food division, which I believe can be bulked up meaningfully in the years ahead, is looking particularly appetising. In the year to end-December, the groceries segment showed only a slight drop in margin to (a still respectable) 11.5%. The bakery and sugar segments markedly fattened their respective margins to 9.1% (7.2% previously) and 10.4% (8.1%).

The food division would look even more compelling with Siqalo Foods — the spreads business owned by Remgro — in the mix. Obviously this is pure fantasy, but could you imagine RCL — cash flows greased by the reliable Siqalo brands — then looking to acquire Libstar, adding a vibrant specialist dairy niche, along with a promising spices hub?..

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