Pioneer Foods' results affected by low consumer spending

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These include flat overall domestic volumes, increased competition and muted consumer spending.

Despite this, group revenue for the four months ended 31 January 2014 increased by 8.1 per cent compared to the previous period.

Export volumes, mainly fruit, also maintained good momentum

“Significant and continued focus on cost reduction and efficiencies has had a positive effect on performance to date. The value enhancement initiatives embarked upon in the prior year are beginning to gain momentum,” said the company in a statement.

The group consists of Sasko manufacturers, Bokomo Foods, Quantum Foods and the Ceres Beverages Company.  

Pioneer Foods’ earnings at the half year are likely to benefit from the aforementioned and the low performance base of the corresponding period.

The outlook for the remainder of the current financial year however may prove to be challenging due to inflationary pressures facing consumers which could potentially translate to volume pressure the Pioneer Foods, compounded by rising input costs and rand weakness.

The group’s interim financial results for the six months ending 31 March 2014 are expected to be announced on or about 19 May 2014.