South Africa: Tiger Brands Continues to Count Costs of the Listeriosis Outbreak

Microscopic view of Listeriosis bacteria.
analysis

SA's largest food producer continues to face financial losses after the listeriosis outbreak that began in 2017. Tiger Brands was named as the culprit. The months from May 2019 will be tough for the company as it faces a class action lawsuit from victims of the outbreak and tackles a lack of profitability in its ready-to-eat processed meat business.

As branded foods company Tiger Brands waits to see if it will have to cough up to victims of the deadly listeriosis outbreak, other woes continue to mount.

The sales and profitability of SA's largest food producer continue to be haunted by the listeriosis outbreak described by health organisations as the largest globally, having claimed 218 lives since January 2017.

Tiger was named as the culprit for the outbreak as traces of the listeria bacteria were discovered in its ready-to-eat processed meat products and production facilities.

On most measures of income and profitability, Tiger Brands faced declines during the six months ended March 2019. Revenue from continuing operations fell 2% to R15.4-billion, gross margins fell by 2% to 31.3% and headline earnings per share (a main measure of profit because it excludes certain once-off items that might boost profits) was down...

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