Zeenat Moorad Associate editor: Financial Mail

One wonders at what point global brands Starbucks* and Domino’s will start getting uncomfortable about their local "partner" Taste Holdings and their future in the SA market. We have, by now, become accustomed to Taste’s disastrous trading updates and its habit of taking the begging bowl to shareholders. How many rights issues is it now? Five, I think — the first of which was in August 2014. Taste said its HEPS loss for the year would be between 40.6c/share and 43.1c/share. Given the number of shares in issue, the FY2018 loss will be between R366m and R388m. It’s tough going in the fast-food sector. Sure, consumer confidence isn’t as depressed as it has been in the past two to three years but the outlook for the macroeconomy and household finances is only slightly more positive. When it comes to Taste though, that’s just part of the problem. It is constantly running out of cash because it is funding the expansion of Starbucks and pizza chain Domino’s and it has had to deal with jitt...

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