Zeder maintains earnings and dividends in tough trading conditions

Amidst challenging and tough macro conditions, JSE-listed Zeder [JSE:ZED], with its specific focus on the agri, food and beverage sectors, has delivered comparable recurring earnings and maintained its dividend for the financial year ended 28 February 2019, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

Recurring headline earnings per share increased by 0.4% to 27.7 cents (2018: 27.6 cents) and a maintained dividend of 11.0 cents per share was declared.

Headline earnings per share increased by 81.9% to 45.1 cents (2018: 24.8 cents), mainly due to an upward fair value adjustment reflecting the successful disposal of Capespan's investment in Joy Wing Mau, it said.

The sum-of-the-parts (SOTP) value per share decreased to R5.64 (2018: R7.85) largely due to a decrease in the share price of Pioneer Foods, Zeder's largest investment.

Announcing the results, Zeder CEO Norman Celliers said negative economic conditions persisted during the period under review while investor sentiment towards the sector remained subdued.

However, he stated that those factors within management's control were well managed and that the investment companies remained in sound condition with conservative and improved balance sheets.

Celliers highlighted the successful disposal by Capespan of their investment in China and stated that net proceeds of R988m was received.
Furthermore, the separation and unbundling of the logistics division from Capespan was completed on January 2, 2019 and the formation of The Logistics Group was announced.

"Zeder has enviable strategic equity interests in leading organisations that span the agribusiness value chain. While the broader investor sentiment towards the sector and country is clearly negative at present and the external operating environment remains challenging, the underlying fundamentals of Zeder and its portfolio have not changed," said Celliers.

"Our companies are well positioned to deliver on their respective long-term strategies. Despite inevitable cyclicality, the strength of our defensive portfolio should ensure that we deliver the required shareholder return over time."


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