Mar 28, 2017 Last Updated 9:05 AM, Mar 28, 2017

Astral Foods announces expansion plans

ABN – Poultry producer Astral Foods has announced plans to expand its presence in Africa by moving into Ethiopia.

The company’s core market is in South Africa and the rest of the continent, where chicken consumption is lower, represents a big opportunity.

Astral CEO Chris Schutte said: "If we do pull the trigger in Ethiopia it will be a greenfields investment, and it will be some time before we see anything at bottom line.”

Mozambique, Zambia and Swaziland are already part of the Astral Foods operations.

Following the completion of the company’s expansion projects in Zambia and Mozambique its profits grew by 24%.

Schutte added: "If you ask whether Africa will ever represent 50% of Astral’s revenue then that might take 20 to 25 years.

“But if we can get to 10% to 15% in the next few years then we would be happy with that."


SABMiller becomes world’s second largest brewer

ABN – SABMiller has reported a continued growth in its soft drinks business across Africa, Latin America and Europe.

The company’s recent figures posted year end March 2015 make it the second biggest brewer in the world.

SABMiller CEO Alan Clark said: “Our confidence in the future of our soft drinks business was underlined by the agreement, announced in November 2014, to create Coca Cola Beverages Africa.

“By consolidating activities such as procurement and back office services, and integrating our supply chain, we are reaping rewards.

“We achieved positive momentum in our underlying business performance, particularly in the latter part of the year, with EBITA growth and margins expanding on an organic, constant currency basis.

“As flagged, the strengthening dollar against many of our operating currencies had a negative translational impact on reported results.”


Choppies lists on JSE

ABN – Botswana’s Choppies has announced plans to list on the JSE to grow its presence in the South African market.

The company hopes to raise R574 million (US$47.4 million) through the issue of 117 million new shares.

Funds raised will be used to fund acquisitions and fast-track Choppies’ roll out of new stores, which will unlock opportunities in new markets.

Choppies CEO Ramachandran Ottapathu said: "It is important for us to have greater liquidity and sources of capital to pursue these opportunities now.

"Most of our business — 75% — is outside SA. We believe we have competitive fundamentals that will see us through bumps in the economy."


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