By Claire Badenhorst
- The recently lifted alcohol ban has cost Distell dearly. The group – which owns brands like Hunter’s, Savanna, Amarula, and Durbanville Hills – saw its headline profit fall by 64% thanks to the alcohol curb, which ranged from an outright ban first introduced in March to restrictions around sales that are still somewhat in play. The group lost 100 million litres in sales volumes and its contribution to excise duty fell 11%. In a statement, Distell said that it has temporarily suspended dividends as part of measures introduced to improve the liquidity of the group.
- AYO Technology Solutions has been slapped with a hefty R6.5m fine by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. According to the JSE, the IT group has been publishing financial results that are false and misleading to its shareholders, the JSE, and the public. AYO says that while it accepts the JSE’s findings and has taken significant steps to ensure it does not happen again, it’s of the opinion that IFRS accounting rules can be interpreted differently.
- It hasn’t been business as usual for retail giant Massmart as the company suffered a headline loss of more than R1bn in the past six months. This was despite the fact that online sales surged by 95% during this period. The company, which includes Makro and Game, said that trading restrictions on liquor, tobacco, building materials, DIY and general merchandise were responsible for a significant drop in revenue.
- UK bookmaker Betfred has offered up to R925m for SA’s Phumelela Gaming and Leisure, which is currently in business rescue. Phumelela is SA’s biggest horse racing business, contributing some R800m to the economy each year. It operates four racecourses and owns Betting World, which has nearly 70 retail outlets and an online platform. Phumelela filed for business rescue in May, but received a generous supply of emergency funding from the Oppenheimer family to keep afloat. Now, BetFred has proposed an offer of between R875m and R925m for all of Phumelela’s assets, plus it will throw in R650m to keep creditors at bay.