Bidserv’s results were below expectation and reflect the impact and extent of the recession in South Africa. Trading profit fell 21,3% to R385,3 million (2008: R489,4 million) while revenue dipped by 3,5% to R3,5 billion (2008: R3,6 billion). Banking, Travel, Aviation Services and product-related businesses were most impacted. Cash flow and debtor’s collections improved across all businesses.
Prestige produced pleasing results in difficult markets. Good expense management contributed to a small rise in profits. New management at Steiner Group achieved excellent results. Trading profit fell in the laundry business as a result of lower hotel occupancies. Security operations performed well overall. The newly acquired vehicle tracking business met expectations.
Bid Travel Services was affected by the corporate travel slowdown and low hotel occupancies. Trading profit at TMS declined on the back of certain rationalisation costs. New management has refocused the business. Market share gains continued. The Industrial Products division was hit by falling demand for workwear and equipment. Expenses were well managed. The Office Automation division produced reasonably good results, with a noticeable pickup in product demand.
Results at Global Payment Technologies were behind last year, but improved demand from its banking customers is anticipated. Bidair was heavily impacted by the scaling back of airline operations and loss of contracts. Trading profit at Green Services was up on prior year, despite declining revenue.
Transaction values fell steeply at Bidvest Bank and Master Currency, as lower interest rates and rand stability impacted results. Improved demand is expected into the second half.