JOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s biggest consumer foods maker, Tiger Brands, pledged a sweeping overhaul of its operations on Tuesday, after a botched investment in Nigeria and mounting difficulties in its home and exports markets force a re-think.
New chief executive Lawrence MacDougall, who is just two weeks into the job, faces shrinking demand in African export markets such as Nigeria and Mozambique, and a bleak outlook in South Africa, Tiger Brands’ largest market, where consumer confidence is near 14-year lows. “Being able to focus our attention and being able to prioritise where we spend our money is going to be critical to a good set of results,” MacDougall said.
“We need to know which buttons to push and which to prioritise,” he told reporters after a interim results presentation for the company, which makes bread, breakfast cereals and energy drinks. Tiger Brands warned that tough trading conditions would persist for the rest of the year, echoing its smaller rival Pioneer Food Group, which said on Monday a severe drought and rising interest rates were heightening concerns over South Africa’s economic outlook. Inflation in South Africa is expected to average 6.7 percent in 2016, the central bank said last week, while low growth is set to persist.