Revenue for the interim period came to R2.01 billion (2019: R3.86 billion) whilst operating loss before non-operational items came to R109.8 million (2019: profit of R376.2 million). Loss attributable to owners amounted to R1.54 billion (2019: profit of R139.9 million). Furthermore, headline loss per share was recorded at 240cps (2019: headline earnings per share of 140cps).
The Board has considered the current cash position and facilities available to the Group. While the Company will be able to service its obligations in the foreseeable future, it is deemed prudent to preserve cash to facilitate balance sheet flexibility. In this regard no dividend has been declared for the review period. The Board will continue to monitor the trading environment, the Group’s performance, its operating requirements and acquisition opportunities to determine future dividends.
In line with the Group’s three-year roadmap, we will continue to focus on right-sizing the business, reducing costs, and preserving cash to facilitate balance sheet flexibility. This will be achieved through our expansion programme (growing our Leading brands and retail business and building depth of the AME footprint); consolidation programme (disinvesting from non-core brands and non-core manufacturing and logistics facilities, and intensifying investment in high return assets); and optimising capital management and allocation. We remain concerned about the weak state of the economy which, together with the financial and psychological impact of the pandemic, will constrain consumer discretionary spend and sentiment. However, management is cautiously optimistic, barring any further unforeseen events, that the second half of the current financial year will deliver stronger growth than the first half (H1). This optimism is based on the very weak base of H1, during which there was one month of no trade and three months of tightly restricted trade. Furthermore, aligned with the phased easing of restrictions, consumer activity has continued to increase, reflected by the upward sales trend over the past three months and particularly post the review period. The information contained under the prospects commentary has not been reviewed or reported on by the external auditors.
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