COMPANY NEWS IN BRIEF
Remgro, the investment heavyweight chaired and controlled by Johann Rupert, has upped its 2022 shareholder payout by more than two thirds, with easing Covid-19 restrictions boosting most of its investees and helping group profit to more than double.
Headline earnings jumped 125% to R6.5 billion to end-June, 17% higher than pre-pandemic levels for its continuing operations, which the group said on Tuesday pointed to a substantial recovery from Covid-19. Remgro upped its total dividend 66.7% to 150c per share, representing about an R852 million payout for a group valued at R68.2 billion on the JSE.
Founded in the 1940s by the late Anton Rupert, Remgro's underlying interests range from healthcare to liquor, energy and sugar, with its biggest investment a 44.6% interest in hospital operator Mediclinic, and a 57% stake in fibre operator CIVH. It also has a 30.6% interest in Rand Merchant Investments, 31.7% of liquor group Distell, and 80.3% of RCL Foods.
As an investment holding company, profit measures are less relevant to Remgro's model, although it is still useful for long-term comparisons of its performance. During the year, the firm, which holds 2.5% of FirstRand, benefited from a resumption of a final dividend payment from the lender, while CIVH swung back to profit, and both Distell and Mediclinic also showed strong recovery as customer activity benefited from easing lockdown restrictions.
Intrinsic net asset value per share rose 20.2% to R213.10 in Remgro's year to end-June, with the discount at which its shares trade widening 3.6 percentage points to 39%.
The group's intrinsic net asset value stood at about R120 billion at year end, with Mediclinic, whose share price has benefited recently from Remgro's shakeup of its portfolio, climbing 52% to R29.56 billion. CIVH gained 14% to R13.75 billion and Distell rose about 2.6% to R11.79 billion. -Fin24
Apple News users receive racist push alerts
A hacker who infiltrated Fast Company, a publication owned by Morningstar’s billionaire founder Joe Mansueto, sent obscene push notifications to Apple News users’ home screens on Tuesday night, sparking a shutdown of the magazine’s website.
The US-based business magazine, published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, said on Twitter that "two obscene and racist push notifications were sent about a minute apart" after its content management system was hacked on Tuesday evening.
Apple's news aggregation service, which curates stories from media providers, had 125 million monthly active users as of early 2020. It was not immediately clear how many people received the push notifications. The company had 1.8 billion active device users as of the start of this year.
Apple News said in a tweet that it disabled Fast Company’s channel on its platform after the hack. Apple could not be immediately reached for further comment.
In a separate statement to Bloomberg News, Fast Company said the Tuesday hack follows an "apparently related hack" of its website that occurred on Sunday afternoon, when similar language appeared on the site’s home page and other pages, with the site shut down and restored two hours later at the time.
Fast Company apologized to users who saw the message and said it is investigating the incident and has shut down both it’s feed as well as its website until it is certain the situation is resolved. "The messages are vile and not in line with the content and ethos of Fast Company," it said. -Fin24