The share price of Tiger Brands sagged 1.3 percent on the JSE in early trade on Wednesday.

The stock price dropped from 277.90 rand ($31) to 274.30 rand ($30.60) in line with the general JSE, which was flat on concerns about the US fiscal cliff and no agreement on the restructuring of Greece’s debt, causing negative sentiment.

South Africa’s largest JSE-listed food company also surprised the market by saying weak consumer spending would continue to weigh on South Africa’s economy.

But the company’s net income surged 5 percent to 2.7 billion rand ($304 million) in the 12 months through September from a year earlier, it said in a statement.

Revenues gained 11 percent to 22.7 billion rand ($29 billion). Earnings per share (EPS) rose 4.6 percent to 16.72 rand.

The company said consumer spending, which had previously been the main driver of domestic demand, slowed in the face of weaker business confidence and rising cost pressures.

It said given the on-going weakness in the global economy, the continued volatility in soft commodity prices and the rand exchange rate, it is expected 2013 to be another challenging year.

South African consumers are under pressure amid unemployment of 25.5 percent and economic growth that will slow to 2.5 percent this year, the lowest since the 2009 recession, according to government estimates.

The Reserve Bank cut interest rates to a 30-year low of 5 percent on July 19 to support the economy.

In July this year, Tiger Brands, the owner of Albany Bread and Tastic Rice, agreed to acquire Nigeria’s Dangote Flour Mills (DANGFLOU) from Dangote Industries in a deal worth 30.1 billion naira ($190 million).

This was part of the company’s strategy to extend its operations into the African continent.

Growth in the rest of the continent was robust with Tiger’s operations “contributing positively” to profit growth, the company said.


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