South Africa's biggest consumer foods firm, Tiger Brands on Thursday reported a surprise fall in annual profit after taking a $134-million write-off charge at its money-losing Nigerian unit.
Tiger Brands, which also named a temporary chief executive, said diluted headline earnings per share (EPS) totalled 1,757 cents in the year to the end of September, missing an estimate of 1,798 cents, or growth of 2 percent, in the Reuters poll of 10 analysts.
Headline EPS, a profit measure that strips out certain one-off items, is the widely watched performance gauge in South Africa.
The company's performance was affected by a poor showing in Nigeria, where it took a writedown charge of 1.9 billion rand ($134 million) from its investments Deli Foods and Dangote Flour Mills (DFM).
Tiger Brands, which sells breakfast cereals, sweets and energy drinks, has cut off funding to DFM in a review of its investment in the struggling pasta and flour maker.
The company also appointed its chief operating officer, Noel Doyle, as interim CEO to take over from Peter Matlare, who will step down in at the end of the year.