South Africa: Interim Results - Bidvest Cleans Up With Hygiene Services

analysis

Solid performances from the industrial group's hygiene, DIY products and commodity handling businesses compensated for weakness in the travel and hospitality sectors.

The car rental industry may have stalled over the past year as the travel and hospitality sectors ground to a halt due to Covid-19 but, unsurprisingly, hygiene services have been in demand. Together with DIY products and commodity handling services, that's supported a strong first-half performance from industrial group Bidvest.

While Bidvest's empire extends across a number of industries, hygiene has been a staple of its business since the acquisition of Steiner 30 years ago. Since then, Bidvest Steiner has quadrupled its reach organically to become one of the biggest hygiene service providers in South Africa, competing against global players.

As part of its strategy to expand its presence beyond South Africa in asset-light businesses, just over a year ago it spent about R9-billion to acquire UK hygiene service provider PHS Group.

Shortly afterwards, former CEO Lindsay Ralphs said the global hygiene market was supported by structural growth drivers such as urbanisation, hygiene and safety standards as well as a growing and ageing population. The global outbreak of Covid-19 undoubtedly heightened the awareness of and need for out-of-home...

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