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News Archive: 2017

News archive

11 December 2017

A new game plan for Sasol – Business Day

Sasol’s decision to invest no more money in either new gas-to-liquids (GTL) plants or plant expansions closes the door on several mega-projects that were being studied in Mozambique, Canada and the US. Abdul Davids comments.
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11 December 2017

How downgrades affect everyday South Africans – Fin24

Downgrades of the country’s debt by ratings agencies directly affect the finances of everyday South Africans. While Moody’s did not downgrade SA’s debt in November, it did place the country on review to be downgraded after the 2018 budget. Abdul Davids comments.
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11 December 2017

Rest of Africa strengthens PPC earnings – ENCA

PPC nearly tripled attributable net profit in the six months to September, to R294-million from R102m in the same period in 2016. A “strong performance” from its assets in the rest of Africa boosted its regional earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) by 25 percent as group ebitda grew 4 percent to R1.2-billion. Meyrick Barker comments.
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11 December 2017

Energy giant Sasol to balance growth and returns – Business Day

Global oil and gas group Sasol will no longer invest in mega-projects on its own as it did in the past as it targets a greater balance between growth and shareholder returns in future, executives say. Abdul Davids comments.
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11 December 2017

Tsogo awaits Cape Town clarity on casino licences – Business Day

Gaming and leisure group Tsogo Sun, which endured a tough interim period to end-September with discretionary spending tight, is hoping for clarity on a second Cape Town casino before the end of 2017. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments.
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11 December 2017

SA Taxi beats big four banks on loans – Business Day

Transaction Capital’s SA Taxi, which finances more than 10% of SA’s minibus taxis, continues to defy the ailing economy, posting double-digit loan growth over the past year, as demand for taxi finance remains robust among entrepreneurs who do not qualify for bank finance. Meyrick Barker comments.
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11 December 2017

Foreign boost for Life Healthcare – Business Day

Life Healthcare’s enlarged international business accounted for nearly a quarter of group revenue in the year to end-September 2017, from just 7% previously. The private-hospital operator bought 94% of UK-based Alliance Medical Group in November 2016 and increased its shareholding in India’s Max Healthcare Institute in August 2017 to 49.7%. These deals helped the group to grow revenue by 27% to R20.8bn in its 2017 financial year. Aslam Dalvi comments.
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11 December 2017

Mr Price shares leap after strong interim results – Business Day

Mr Price’s share price rose as much as 5.3% after the clothing retailer delivered a 23.6% jump in interim diluted headline earnings per share to 434.1c. Total revenue rose 6.7% to R9.8bn for the 20 weeks to September 2017. The group declared an interim dividend of 279c a share, up 22.3%. Simon Anderssen comments.
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11 December 2017

Tongaat Hulett gets boost from sugar – Business Day

Tongaat Hulett pushed up operating profit and headline earnings for the six months to September 2017 as revenue fell 4.5% during the period. Headline earnings of R661m were 4.8% better than the R631m reported in the six months to September 2016. Meanwhile, operating cash flow before working capital came to R2.447bn, rising from R2.317bn in the same period previously. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments.
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11 December 2017

Gigaba's maiden budget can spark another downgrade – Fin24

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s mini budget definitely has the potential to lead to a ratings downgrade. Abdul Davids comments.
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23 October 2017

Steinhoff's Africa listing makes sense – Moneyweb

Freshly unbundled from Steinhoff, JSE-listed Star is a sizeable company with 4808 stores across sub Saharan Africa, revenues over six months of R29.2 billion and earnings of R3 billion. By way of comparison, South Africa’s biggest retailer, Shoprite turned over R71.3 billion and earned R3.7 billion before interest and tax in its last six month period. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments on the new listing.
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23 October 2017

Kagiso Asset Management nominated as Equities Manager of the Year – RISKAFRICA Magazine

The Batseta Council of Retirement Funds for South Africa (Batseta) has announced the shortlist for the eighth Imbasa Yegolide Service Excellence Awards which recognise service providers who have given outstanding services to retirement funds in South Africa.
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23 October 2017

Clover battles rising costs in 'new reality' – Business Day

Prolonged drought, a subsequent wetter and cooler summer, and rand volatility resulted in above-inflation input costs and subdued volume growth amid poor consumer spending. Clover CEO Johann Vorster mentions aggressive competitor pricing and market positioning in the fight to optimally sustain business in a constrained “new reality”. Food producers now cannot just pass costs on to consumers. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments.
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4 September 2017

Fund reviews: analysis of lesser-known funds – Financial Mail

The high-equity unit trust sector is now the bedrock of the unit trust industry. With more than 200 funds in the sector, Stephen Cranston reviews the top performing lesser-known funds available in South Africa. Gavin Wood comments.
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30 August 2017

Restructure gives Adcock profit a boost – Business Day

Pharmaceutical group Adcock Ingram has managed to turn its rest of Africa operations profitable, contributing to a tripling of after-tax profit in the year to end-June. The group grew overall revenue by 7% to R5.96 billion and after-tax profit was up 213% to R561 million in the year to end-June. Aslam Dalvi comments.
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25 August 2017

Bidcorp off to a blistering start – Business Day

Bidcorp’s maiden full-year results show the company got off to a blistering start as a JSE-listed entity. The company, which was spun out of Bidvest in May 2016, reported a near double-digit rise in earnings despite difficult trading conditions in some key operations.  Dirk van Vlaanderen comments.
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25 August 2017

Massmart sticks to expansion strategy – Business Day

Massmart says it has not given up on Africa and will continue to invest in its business on the continent. CEO Guy Hayward said that despite the challenges faced by most African economies, there were signs the tide could yet change for the better. In the period under review, Massmart’s total sales were R42.5 billion, an increase of 0.5% compared with the year-earlier period. Comparable store sales declined 1.6% with product inflation of 3.2%.  Dirk van Vlaanderen comments.
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17 August 2017

Battle of the PGM belt – Financial Mail

Platinum mining companies are having to take painful decisions to make operations resilient in the face of low prices, regulatory uncertainty, labour and community protests and an unclear demand outlook.  Abdul Davids comments.
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4 August 2017

Hulamin sets example for ailing steel industry – Business Day

As SA’s steel industry appears to be going into terminal decline, the aluminium market has been looking up. The pride of South African aluminium production, Hulamin, has just reported strong interim results to June 2017, despite a stronger rand. Abdul Davids comments.
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4 August 2017

Future looks bright for Mondi – Business Day

Higher prices for Mondi’s products underpin a positive outlook for the international packaging, paper and pulp manufacturer after it reported a robust performance in the first half of 2017. Revenue rose 8% to €3.6 billion in the six months from the same period in 2016. But underlying operating profit of €497 million came off €32 million. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments.
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24 July 2017

Still no light for Dawn – Financial Mail

In its annual results to March 2016, Dawn posted a net loss of R758 million. It has now posted an attributable loss of R637 million in the year to March 2017. Meyrick Barker comments.
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24 July 2017

Trading conditions squeeze Woolworths – Business Day

Investors are lowering their expectations for Woolworths as the outlook for the local retail sector deteriorates. The company reported that growth in the second half of its financial year had been affected by “increasingly difficult trading conditions in both SA and Australasia”. Simon Anderssen comments.
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20 June 2017

Datatec bounces on sale of Westcon – Business Day

Datatec announced the sale of its Westcon Americas business in a shares-and-cash deal worth about R10.2 billion — or 85% of its market cap. US Fortune 500 IT company, Synnex, will pay a maximum of US$800 million, of which US$500 million will be settled in Synnex shares, giving Datatec a 10.25% share. Aslam Dalvi comments.
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20 June 2017

Clothing retailers suffering in tough economy – Business Day

Mr Price Group reported a drop in headline earnings for the first time in 16 years. In the year to April 1 2017, Mr Price reported a fall of 10.4% in diluted headline earnings per share to 887.9c. Retail sales eased 0.5%, while comparable store sales fell 3.6% to R18.6 billion. Simon Anderssen comments.
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20 June 2017

Africa makes winning case for Steinhoff – Business Day

Steinhoff’s African and East European assets outperformed the group’s operations elsewhere. In the six months to March 2017, the African business increased its total revenue 25% to €522 million. On a like-for-like basis, African revenue increased 4%, a good showing when compared with other domestically listed retailers. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments.
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1 June 2017

Clover drops after earnings warning – Business Day

Investors skimmed 7% off Clover’s share price in intraday trade on 29 May after the dairy products group said that it expected to report a drop of as much as 65% in full-year headline earnings. Clover said that the drought and currency fluctuations had resulted in above-inflation input costs, which it had been unable to recover through price increases. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments.
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1 June 2017

Regulatory hurdles put Mediclinic on watch- Moneyweb

Middle East regulatory issues led to a disappointing performance in private healthcare group Mediclinic’s annual results. The Middle East saw revenue grow 72% to $846.4 million for the year ended March 31. Aslam Dalvi comments.
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1 June 2017

Imperial looking to expand an empire – Financial Mail

Logistics and vehicle group Imperial Holdings is driving hard towards doubling profit from its rest-of-Africa operations. It is seeking to rely less on a shaky SA trading environment, where 59% of group revenue and 64% of operating profit were generated in the interim period to December 2016. Meyrick Barker comments.
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1 June 2017

Astral Foods sees pain from new brine regulations – Moneyweb

South Africa’s largest poultry producer, Astral Foods, saw poultry sales volumes decline by 10.5% for the six months to March 31. Its group operating profit declined by 50.6% to R212 million on the back of a flat 0.5% revenue growth to R5.7 billion. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments.
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1 June 2017

Umongo fills gap in Omnia's range – Business Day

Omnia is buying 90% of Umongo Petroleum for R780m, adding new product lines and geographies to expand the diversified chemicals group. The deal, which still has to be given the green light by SA’s competition authorities, will add 6% to Omnia’s overall annual turnover of about R16 billion. Aslam Dalvi comments.
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1 June 2017

Market punishes Pioneer Foods – Business Day

In the six months to end March 2017, Pioneer Foods reported a 47% drop in first-half adjusted headline earnings to R470m. Adjusted operating profit declined from 12% to 7%. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments.
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15 May 2017

Sasol lowers synfuels sales forecast in update – Business Day

Chemical conglomerate Sasol has revised its synfuel sales forecast for the year to June down to 60-million barrels from 61-million barrels in financial 2016, in a nine-month update to the end of March. Abdul Davids comments.
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15 May 2017

A breath of fresh air for Mediclinic – Moneyweb

Mediclinic’s share price has fallen 36% in just over year, with the healthcare group facing regulatory headwinds which has constrained earnings and profits in some of its most lucrative and fastest growing markets. A recent Zurich regulatory ruling has offers positive news for the Swiss market outlook. Aslam Dalvi comments.
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11 May 2017

Below-forecast earnings erode Pick n Pay shares – Business Day

While local food retailers have seen a general decline in their share prices in the past month, Pick n Pay has been the hardest hit. Its share price has retreated just more than 13% in April, with most of the movement sparked by the release of the company’s 2017 annual results. Simon Anderssen comments.
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28 March 2017

No dividend payout by Sun International – Business Day

Gaming giant Sun International released results which that the group, which has changed its financial year-end to December, finished the six months to end December 2016 with borrowings of R14.5 billion. This was R455 million more than at the end of June 2016. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments.
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28 March 2017

Barclays Africa debt sale misses target – Moneyweb

Barclays Africa Group sold less than half its target in a bond auction as a wall of debt issuance by South African banks and the impending exit of its UK parent, Barclays Plc, damped demand. Gavin Wood comments.
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28 March 2017

Emerging market growth lifts Sanlam – Business Day

Insurance group Sanlam outperformed peers in a tough domestic economy, posting double-digit earnings growth in its businesses both inside and outside SA, its 2016 financial results showed.  Justin Floor comments.
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28 March 2017

AECI weathers headwinds and drought – Business Day

Chemicals and explosives group AECI saw profits in the year to December 2016 hit by negligible growth in South African manufacturing and drought in the regional agriculture sector. Aslam Dalvi comments.
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24 March 2017

Severe drought bites Clover – Moneyweb

It has been a testing time for Clover Industries, with the dairy products producer attempting to fend off the pain from severe drought conditions and consumers that are battling to afford rising food prices. So tough has the operating environment been for Clover that it increased the price of its dairy products by 10.6% to protect the sustainability of its dairy-reliant business. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments.
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2 March 2017

'Relief rally' boosts Discovery – Business Day

Delivering the Discovery Group’s results for the six months to December 2016, CEO Adrian Gore said the group had more than R1 billion to fund new business growth. Spend on new initiatives fell 36% to R244 million, accounting for 7% of operating profit, which rose 13% to R3.4 billion.
Justin Floor comments.
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2 March 2017

Liberty puts on a brave face – Business Day

For the year to December 2016, Liberty’s normalised headline earnings fell 38.8% from the prior period to R2.5 billion, reflecting a 37% drop in operating earnings and a 42% decline in earnings from the shareholder investment portfolio. Justin Floor comments.
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2 March 2017

AngloGold lifts force majeure on Obuasi mines – Moneyweb

AngloGold Ashanti lifted force majeure on its Ghanaian Obuasi mine after the removal of thousands of illegal miners but said it was too early to determine the extent of damage to the loss-making, mothballed operation. The move is significant for AngloGold, which has said it could sell or redevelop the mine. It also cheered investors by saying it would resume dividends after returning to profit in 2016 thanks to a higher spot gold price and weaker currencies. Mandi Dungwa comments.
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2 March 2017

Investment drive rewards Mondi – Business Day

Mondi saw another solid performance for the year ended December 2016, pushing underlying operating profit up 3% to €981 million. Cash generated from operations of €1.4 million rose 10%. This reflected the international packaging and paper group’s €800m pipeline of expansionary capital investment. Completed major projects contributed €50m to underlying operating profit in 2016.
Dirk van Vlaanderen comments.
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2 March 2017

Adcock shares on up and up – Business Day

Adcock Ingram’s result for the six months to end-December revealed that the company became debt-free for the first time since 2011. The share had jumped 3.36% in midday trade as headline earnings per share shot up 49%. Turnover rose 11% to R3 billion as gross profit increased 11% to R1.1bn. The group declared a dividend of 63c per share. Aslam Dalvi comments.
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2 March 2017

Imperial 'on track' with profit – Business Day

Imperial Holdings says it is still on the road to doubling core profit from its rest-of-Africa businesses, but that it is taking longer than expected. Abdul Davids comments.
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16 February 2017

Woolworths banks on cosmetics as profits dip – Moneyweb

South African retailer Woolworths Holdings aims to double its market share in beauty products in its home market over the next three years. Simon Anderssen comments.
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16 February 2017

Amplats works towards dividend – Business Day

Amplats swung out of a deep loss in 2015, when financials were skewed by hefty one-off items, into profit in 2016 as it benefited from positive cash flows from all its mines for the second year running after three years of restructuring, asset sales and containing costs. Abdul Davids comments.
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23 January 2017

Clover warns of sluggish festive season trade – Business Day

Clover’s December 2016 trading volumes were markedly lower than for December 2015. Headline earnings per share for the six months ended December 2016 were expected to be between 15.7% and 25.7% lower than the 116.96c recorded in the period a year earlier. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments.
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18 January 2017

Mr Price posts drop in Q3 sales – Moneyweb

Mr Price, which in November posted its first profit drop in 15 years, reported total retail sales of 6.1 billion rand (US$452 million) for the three months to end-December, 0.5% lower than the corresponding period in 2015. Simon Anderssen comments.
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18 January 2017

Not even Christmas could save SA retailers – Moneyweb

Although the grim trading updates from market darling Woolworths and fashion retailer Truworths were expected, they underscore how troubled SA’s retail market is. Simon Anderssen comments.
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