South African Astral Foods flags five fold jump in H1 earnings

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    South African poultry producer Astral Foods Ltd on Wednesday flagged a more than five fold jump in half-year earnings, sending the firm’s shares up 6 percent.

    Astral, which also manufactures animal feeds, attributed the surge to continued favourable trading conditions and good farming performances to end March.

    Astral said in a statement it expects headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six-months ended March to increase to between 1,958 cents and 1,994 cents per share compared to 356 cents in the previous year.

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

    Astral’s shares raced 5.9 percent higher to 325.50 rand at 1322 GMT.

    The firm, which detected the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu on some of its farms in 2017, said it did not suffer any losses due to the Avian Influenza or Listeriosis.

    Listeria broke out in South Africa in January last year and has since infected almost 1,000 people, 180 of whom have died, the world’s worst recorded listeria outbreak.

    – Reuters

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