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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Santam, Imperial Logistics, Massmart, Spur results and more.

Here’s what caught our attention on Thursday:

1. Santam results

Financial services company, Santam delivered a strong set of results for the year ended December 31 2018. The company’s headline earnings per share increased by 47% to 2 099 cents and earnings per share increased by 45% to 2 198 cents, respectively. The company attributes its positive growth in earnings to improvements in the underwriting and investment result and furthermore noted that its conventional insurance net underwriting margin increased by 9.2%. Santam is declaring a final dividend of 665 cents per share for the period, up 8%.

2. Imperial results

For the six months ended December 31 2018, Imperial Logistics says it performed ‘satisfactorily in mixed trading conditions’, while its Logistics African Region drove excellent results. The company’s continuing headline earnings per share increased by 24% to 300 cents and continuing earnings per share increased by 57% to 295 cents. Imperial Logistics’s continuing revenue increased by 6% to R26.6 billion and an interim cash dividend of 135 cents per share has been declared.

3. Massmart results

The owner of stores such as Game, Makro and Builder’s Warehouse is reporting a drop in earnings for the 52 weeks ended December 30 2018. Massmart’s headline earnings before restructuring costs declined by 22.9% to R1.0 billion and headline earnings decreased by 31.7% to R901.2 million. During the 52-week period, total sales represent a decline of 3%, while comparable store sales declined 4.7%. A total dividend of 208 cents per share has been declared, down 40.1%.

4. Spur Group results

Even as economic pressure and weakening sentiment flurry, South Africans are not putting their steak dinners to rest. Spur reported a ‘competitive trading performance’ for the six months ended December 31 2018. The company saw total franchised restaurant sales in international and local operations increase by 4.8% to R3.9 billion and 6.5% (excl. DoRegos chain). Headline earnings however decreased by 11.2% to R83.9 million and diluted headline earnings per share decreased by 10.9% to 87.8 cents. The group says it is planning to open at least 12 additional restaurant in SA in the second half of the year. Spur resolved to maintain its interim dividend at 63 cents per share.  

5. Economic events

South Africa‘s producer price inflation slowed to 4.1% year-on-year in January from 5.2% in December, data from Stats SA showed on Thursday. On a monthly basis, the PPI fell by 0.8% after falling 0.9% in the previous month. 

South Africa’s M3 money supply for January increased to R3 551 630 from R3 540 330 in December 2018.

South Africa’s trade balance swung to deficit of R13.08 billion in January from a revised R16.70 billion surplus in December, official data showed on Thursday. 

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