Libstar interim results show growth for SA food giant

Libstar Holdings – the listed South African food group – announced its interim results for the six months to 30 June 2019.

At a function at the 54 on Bath Hotel in Johannesburg on Wednesday, Libstar CEO Andries van Rensburg told investors, analysts and media that the company has shown resilience in difficult market conditions thanks to its habitual innovation and culture of entrepreneurship.

Libstar’s financial director, Robin Smith, pointed out that the group showed a 5.9% increase in normalised EBITDA, which was boosted by strong growth in its core categories.

Libstar is a family of 21 consumer packaged goods companies, including Denny, Lancewood, Amaro Foods who bake exclusively for Woolworths, and Rialto Foods who are South Africa’s biggest importer of food from Europe. The company is the largest private label manufacturer in the country, with 46% of the group’s revenue coming from this sector.

The event also served to unveil Libstar’s renewed strategic focus, underpinned by its purpose, and articulated by a dynamic brand identity and the manifesto “From Our Home to Yours”.

Warmly calling upon the attendant leaders of its subsidiaries throughout the presentation, Van Rensburg demonstrated that all 21 Libstar companies had come together to enshrine a family culture throughout the group.

Asked how they are using technology, Van Rensburg said that robotics presented a tremendous opportunity in increased efficiency and that Lancewood in particular was optimising its operations by upgrading its production facilities.

Libstar is committed to “enriching people’s daily lives” – whether those people are Libstar employees, customers or consumers and shoppers. With more than 9000 products in the market, Libstar’s high-quality goods are reached for in the homes of countless South African families daily.

The event also featured a panel Q&A led by food celebrity Zola Nene, where the head of Libstar’s category team, CEOs of Ambassador Foods and Cape Herb & Spice and Marketing Manager of Lancewood discussed how innovation and entrepreneurship will continue to drive Libstar’s triple-pronged strategy of category growth, constant innovation and value-driven acquisitions. 

“As a supplier to retailers, you’ve got to look at the bigger picture,” said Libstar’s Wendy van Zyl, “and understand the role that each category plays, as well as the role of the brands – whether they are our own brands, dealer owned brands, or private label. And by understanding these nuances, you can prepare strategies for growth in specific retail environments.”

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