Bidcorp Trading Update - Food Sales Returning to Normal


On Monday Bidcorp gave the market a trading update which had some interesting data. Remember Bidcorp is in food services, so they were heavily impacted by all the restaurant closures around the globe. The below graph compares their sales versus the same time last year. A low of 37% was reached on the 5th of April, ouch.


Bidcorp Covid-19 Update


On Tuesday, Bidcorp released an update to give us an idea of how their business has been impacted by this Covid-19 global shutdown. Being in the food industry, they have been hit harder than some other companies. The Bidcorp share price was around R350 in January, with a high of R358. Last month it reached a low of R171, and is now trading around the R240 level.


Bidcorp 6M Numbers - Flat


Global food-services business Bidcorp is a company that we hold for most clients with JSE portfolios. For those with short memories, this group was spun off from the old Bidvest in May 2016. It has a market capitalisation of R106 billion. The share price has done fairly well since the separation, rising to a recent high of about R340 per share.


Positive Trading Update


On Monday Bidcorp came out with a positive trading update. Gross margins have increased and operating costs have been maintained for the four month period up to October 2019. Political unrest in Hong Kong, Chile, Barcelona and the UK have impacted tourism and eating patterns in those areas. That is an interesting list of relatively stable countries and cities. It is not just SA that has problems.


Bidcorp FY Numbers - Growth With Low Debt


Yesterday, Bidcorp released their full-year set of numbers. I made it to the results presentation at the Standard Bank head office, in Rosebank; we're now only a stone throw away. The walk was relaxing.


Bidcorp Trading Update - More of the Same


Bidcorp released what they call their "Capital Markets Trading Update" on Tuesday where they basically tell us how the business is faring across its international operations. The food-services company highlighted a few points including rising costs for retailers and food price inflation which is affecting margins for these operators.


Bidcorp 6M numbers - Growth in All Areas


Yesterday food services business Bidcorp released 6 month results for the period ending December 2018. Since it's spin off from Bidvest in 2016 the share price has been flat. Considering the recent environment, that has been better than most!


Bidcorp FY numbers - steady growth


Yesterday foodservice company Bidcorp released their full-year numbers. I watched the results presentation online, while at my desk eating lunch. It is a very convenient way to take in the figures, the only downside is I didn't get access to all the free food being served after the presentation.


Bidcorp 6M numbers - change in UK ops


On the 21st of February I went to Bidcorp's results presentation which was held in the beautiful Standard Bank head office building in Rosebank. The company was reporting their half year results to the end of December 2017. Just a quick refresh, this business has diverse food service operation across 30 countries. 90% of Bidcorp's earnings continue to be offshore. Only 10% is earned locally, making it another useful Rand-hedge.


Bidcorp operating update - More bolt-ons


The company said that trading in the first quarter has been reasonably positive in their core foodservice business. All their businesses performed well in their local currencies. Management is putting efforts to down scale in non-core, underperforming Logistics businesses in the U.K. as trading remains tough. The U.K. logistics business is not a material player in the groups overall business.


Meeting with the CFO


On Monday the 18th of September I had the pleasure of meeting with Bidcorp's CFO David Cleasby at their head office in Sandton. Bidcorp as you may know is our largest holding in the food sector.


Bidcorp FY numbers - hurt by strong Rand


Yesterday we had solid full year results from Bidcorp. These are the first full year numbers since the Bidvest split. This business is well diversified geographically, operating in over 30 countries. Ironically Rand strength had a big negative impact on the numbers. Headline earnings per share grew 9.4% to 1181c. On a constant currency basis, this would have been a 19.1% uptick. That is encouraging considering the developed markets they operate in such as Australia, the UK and big parts of Europe. For a good idea of the segmental analysis you can look at the image below. Remember there are still a few irregularities there from the Bidvest split.


Bidcorp 6 month numbers - strong profit growth


Bidcorp reported results for their first half to end December last week Thursday. Since the results, the stock price is up around 15 percent, in just two trading sessions. In fairness, the stock price was trading near (about four percent above) an all time low before their rally. Before you saw "WHAT?", remember that the company was unbundled from Bidvest less than a year ago, so their unbundling has been less than 12 months. So perhaps it is more fair to say that they were trading at a 12 month low.


Bidcorp teams up with Puratos


Bidcorp made a relatively low level announcement two days ago, one that possibly has further reaching implications in time. The SENS announcement is as follows: BidCorp Food Africa and Puratos establish a joint venture. Who are Puratos? As they say in the release, this is a bakery solutions business. I snooped out their website a couple of days ago, Puratos (a Belgian based business) supplies chocolatiers, bakeries and patisseries with ingredients. In other words, in the busy lives of a bakeries, you need and want a proper partner to deliver your key products on time and make sure that they are of a very high standard. Puratos supply everything from glazes to fillings, emulsifiers (not the favourite of everyone), bread improvers and the like. Good looking bread is sometimes better tasting bread, is that right?


Bidcorp management update - 8 new bolt-on's


Bidcorp delivered another trading update to analysts yesterday. It was a Management update on general trading conditions. This follows on a similar type of statement from two weeks back at the AGM. They talk about Brexit and currency volatility. In their UK operation they have managed to lock in a customer for the next five years and the pipeline looks good, the market is fragmented and they have an opportunity to consolidate further. Eastern Europe looks better than Western Europe. The South African business amongst their emerging market businesses looks decent enough. Mainland China is good, Hong Kong not so much, the tourist numbers are lower. Things in Brazil have seemed to have steadied.


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