Bidvest Group year-end results

The always bankable Bidvest is a bellwether for the south African economy. In announcing a 23% decline in Normalised HEPS to 1028c for the full year, within its tight guidance range, and no final dividend along with retrenchments, it tells you all you need to know about SA inc right now. But even in the most extraordinary difficult circumstances management managed to increase cash generation 38% to R9.2bn cash generated from operations. Free cash flow of R3.7bn was a R1.4bn increase from last year. Exceptional asset management during challenging times resulted in a normalised 23% ROFE. Michel Avery speaks to Ralphs about keeping ROFE for Joffe alive and well as he hands over the baton to Mpumi Madisa, who will assume chief executive role from 1 October 2020. A time to reflect on his tenure and what stood out for him as highlights in a successful career that saw Ralphs create Bid Services into the giant it is today, employing nearly 80,000 people.