FOOD & BEVERAGES: Pioneer Still Growing
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Figures for the year ended 30 September 2009 show Cape-based Pioneer Food growing revenue by 9% to R16.3 billion.
André Hanekom MD commented: "We achieved this satisfactory set of results in a deflationary environment where in the second half of the year, selling prices in key categories either stabilised or contracted.
Our earnings growth for the year, though relatively strong, basically brings us back to even keel, after the slow or declining growth we showed in recent reporting periods.
An excellent performance from Sasko improved our capacity utilisation with increased sales volumes in maize products in particular, which led to margin growth.
Lower commodity prices reduced our investment in inventory and debtors which released cash from working capital. The lower debt levels on average decreased finance charges which provided an additional impetus to earnings.
We expect modest earnings growth in the first half of the current financial year, depending on the collective impact of declining raw material prices; increasing labour, transport and electricity costs; shifting consumer patterns shaping volume growth and continuing deflationary pressure on selling prices."
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