Here’s what caught our attention on Thursday:
1. Discovery Leadership summit kicks off
The Discovery Leadership Summit kicks off on Thursday, and will see the likes of former US President Bill Clinton, former US first lady Hillary Clinton, former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, author Caroline Webb among other business and thought leaders addressing the event. The summit aims to engage world leaders on issues relating to business, economics, governance and science within a local context. The summit is being held in Sandton for one day only.
2. Afrimat results
Building materials company Afrimat reported a 8.4% decline in headline earnings per share to 93.6 cents for the six months ended August 31, 2018. The company’s revenue for the period is sitting at R1.5 billion, up 28.6%, while operating profit increased by 4.3% to R202.7 million. The company attributes its ‘satisfactory results’ to the industrial mineral operations and its iron business. The board has declared an interim dividend per share of 19 cents.
3. ArcelorMittal operational update
Steel manufacturing company, ArcelorMittal posted an operational update for the quarter ended September 30, 2018, in which it notes that the weak domestic demand alongside the volatile rand/dollar exchange rate impacted its business significantly. The company says liquid steel production increased by 5%, local sales increased by 3% and export sales increased by 6% for the period.
4. Woolworths drops David Jones business
The David Jones range of retailer Woolworths has been pulled out of South African stores. According to reports by the Business Day, the range will be rebranded under Woolworths’s own Classic Collection range. The David Jones range was introduced to South African stores in February 2016, but failed to give Woolworths the boost it was seeking, especially from the Australian market.
5. Economic events
Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell further in October following declines in new orders, business activity and employment, a survey showed on Thursday. The index, fell to 42.4 in October, from a revised 44.5 in September, and 43.4 in August. It stood at 51.5 in July.
Total new vehicle sales for October is also expected to be released on Thursday. In September, vehicle sales increased to 49 670 from 47 977 in August.
Update to follow.