September 2, 2019 / 6:32 AM / 15 days ago

South Africa's RCL Foods reports 60.8% drop in full-year earnings

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 2 (Reuters) - South Africa’s RCL Foods reported a 60.8% drop in full-year profit on Monday, hurt by a poor performance in its sugar and chicken divisions.

RCL Foods said headline earning per share (HEPS) for the 12 months to end June declined to 37.9 cents, compared with 96.8 cents in the previous year.

HEPS is the main profit gauge in South Africa which strips out certain one-off items.

“Declining local market demand, mainly due to the implementation of the Health Promotion Levy (sugar tax), resulted in an adverse sales mix and a significantly lower sugar result,” the company said.

“Chicken was negatively impacted by low selling prices due to an oversupplied retail poultry market with dumped imports at record levels, as well as a rising feed cost environment.”

The firm declared a final gross cash dividend of 10 cents, bringing the total dividend for the year to 25 cents, down from 40 cents in the prior year. (Reporting by Onke Ngcuka; editing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and Louise Heavens)

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