Company news in brief

07 March 2018 | Sakenuus
Tiger Brands, RCL Foods shares fall over listeria scare

Shares in South Africa's biggest consumer foods producer Tiger Brands and RCL Foods fell on Monday after the government linked a deadly listeria outbreak to cold meat products known as polony made by Tiger unit Enterprise Food.

Shares in Tiger Brands sank as much as 13%, before recouping some losses to trade 7.5% lower at R392.98. RCL Foods fell more than 6% but later recovered to trade down 3.5% at R16.60.

Both firms suspended processed meat production at their plants after health authorities ordered a recall of cold meats linked to a deadly listeria outbreak from both domestic and international outlets.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said on Sunday the outbreak had killed 180 people since January 2017 and that it had been traced to polony from a Tiger Brands factory in the northern city of Polokwane. He said a plant owned by RCL Foods was being investigated.

South Africa's processed meat market grew about 8% in 2017 to a retail value of US$412 million, according to Euromonitor International. Tiger Brands has a 35.7% market share, followed by Eskort Bacon Co-Operative with 21.8%. Rhodes Food, Rainbow Chicken (RCL Foods) and Astral Foods each have less than 5%. – Nampa/Reuters

Eskom to appoint CEO by end of April

South Africa's cash strapped state-run power utility Eskom will appoint a permanent chief executive by the end of April to begin the process of reforming the ailing utility, which may include reducing job numbers, its chairman said on Monday.

"We will be appointing a new chief executive by the end of April and hopefully weeks thereafter we will appoint a new CFO," newly appointed chairman Jabu Mabuza told a labour union conference. – Nampa/Reuters

Harley-Davidson slams retaliatory tariffs

Harley-Davidson Inc said on Monday that a punitive, retaliatory tariff on its motorcycles in any market would have a "significant impact" on its sales there.

The European Commission's president last week threatened to impose tariffs on Harley-Davidson motorbikes if US President Donald Trump followed through on a plan to impose global duties on aluminum and steel.

Harley said in a statement that it supports free and fair trade, and the proposed US import tariffs will drive up costs for all products made with aluminum and steel, regardless of their origin. – Nampa/Reuters

Kobe Steel CEO to step down

Kobe Steel Ltd chief executive officer Hiroya Kawasaki will step down in connection with a quality lapse scandal that shook the Japanese manufacturing industry last year, the Nikkei reported on yesterday.

The report came hours before results of a 4-month-long external investigation into the scandal were expected to be released.

Japan's No.3 steelmaker, which supplies manufacturers of cars, planes and trains across the world, said last year that it had supplied roughly 500 customers products with falsified specifications, throwing global supply chains into turmoil.

Kobe also admitted that its executives were aware of the cheating and that the scandal was likely to reduce its recurring profit by 10 billion yen (US$94.14 million) this year.

Shares of the company, which nearly halved after news of the scandal broke in October, has recouped some of the losses, partly helped by Japanese automakers vouching for the safety of the company's aluminium parts. – Nampa/Reuters

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