JOHANNESBURG, Feb 23 (Reuters) - South Africa's Bid Corporation (Bidcorp) reported a 20.6 percent rise in half-year profit on Thursday, buoyed by strong sales growth in Europe and emerging markets.
The foodservice group, spun out of Bidvest last year, posted diluted headline earnings per share of 598.8 cents for the 6 months to end-December, compared with 496.4 cents a year earlier.
Headline earnings per share is the main profit measure in South Africa and strips out certain one-off items.
Bidcorp, which reports its results in South African rand, said it performed well across all geographies, driven by good organic growth in home currencies and benefiting from market share gains.
Sales in Britain were down 13.8 percent as the weaker pound weighed and Bidcorp exited some low-margin contracts, but the firm said its Bidfood UK unit delivered an excellent result in local currency terms and was bolstered by a positive second quarter.
Sales in the rest of Europe increased 12.5 percent and its emerging market division grew revenue by 14.8 percent.
Bidcorp has started a global rebranding exercise, trading as "Bidfood" to reinforce the firm's image as a value-added food service group rather than logistics providers, it said.
Reporting by TJ Strydom; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath