HCI family, Lewis and CIG keep JSE busy

Inflation will be in the spotlight on Wednesday as Statistics SA publishes April’s consumer price index (CPI) ahead of the Reserve Bank’s interest rate announcement on Thursday.

Inflation, as measured by the annual change in CPI, is expected to have accelerated to 4.7% from March’s 3.8% due to April’s rise in value-added tax (VAT) along with many other tax hikes which contributed to the petrol price rising by 72c a litre.

Wednesday is also a busy day on the JSE, with results from the Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI) family, Lewis, and Consolidated Infrastructure Group (CIG).

The HCI family includes Tsogo Sun, Hospitality Property Fund, eMedia, Deneb, Nivius, and Hosken Passenger Logistics & Rail.

Nivius’s share price halved to R3.83 on Tuesday from Monday’s R7.80 after it issued a trading statement saying its headline earnings per share (HEPS) would fall by as much as 70.4%.

HCI moved Nivius’s gambling interests into Tsogo Sun and unbundled Golden Arrow Bus Services, leaving it a small property company.

Tsogo Sun said on May 18 it expected to report HEPS grew by between 5% and 7%.

The holding company of e.tv and eMedia said on May 18 it expected to report its headline loss per share was about a sixth of the prior year’s 22c.

The newest member of the family, Hosken Passenger Logistics & Rail, said on May 17 it expected to report HEPS of between 77c and 88c.

Furniture retailer Lewis said on May 18 it expected to report HEPS for the year to end-March declined by as much as 28%.

Lewis was ordered to refund self-employed and retired customers unemployment insurance it had mis-sold them with interest, which amounted to R67.7m. In addition, it had to pay a R5m fine.

Recently acquired United Furniture Outlets (UFO) was included for two months of the reporting period.

“Merchandise sales for the fourth quarter increased by 21.7% over the corresponding period — 9% higher, excluding UFO — resulting in 9.9% growth for the year — 7.4% growth excluding UFO,” the trading statement said.

“Comparable stores sales grew by 11.2% for the quarter and 10.1% for the year.”

Consolidated Infrastructure Group warned shareholders on May 18 it expected to fall into a loss for the six months to end-February.

Source: businesslive.co.za