Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Q4 GDP, fuel hikes kick in at midnight, Nedbank, Clover and Attacq results.
Nedbank expects headline earnings to be above nominal GDP growth, as it looks ahead to 2019. Picture: Nadine Hutton, Bloomberg

Here’s what caught our attention on Tuesday:

1. Q4 GDP

South Africa‘s economy expanded 1.4% in the fourth quarter of 2018 after a revised 2.6% expansion in the third quarter. On a yearly basis, GDP growth increased by 0.8% following a revised 1.4% expansion in 2017, data from Statistics SA showed on Tuesday. The manufacturing industry saw an increase of 4.5%, while finance, real estate and business services increased by 2.7%. 

2. Fuel price hike to kick in at midnight

The long route just got longer, as the price of petrol is set to increase at midnight. The price of petrol will go up by 74 cents per litre, while the price of diesel will increase by 93 cents per litre. EWN is reporting that this may not be the end of it, as finance minister Tito Mboweni did announce in his budget speech that general fuel levies will increase by 15 cents a litre. The hikes will be implemented in stages.

3. Nedbank headline earnings increases 14.5%

For the year ended December 31 2018, Nedbank CEO, Mike Brown says the bank produced ‘resilient financial performance’ as the bank saw boosts from the ongoing turnaround in its share of association income from ETI. Headline earnings for the period increased by 14.5% to R13.5 billion, while headline earnings per share increased by 13.9% to 2 793 cents for the period. The bank resolved to declare a dividend of 720 cents, up 6.7%. Brown added that in the 2019 financial year, he expects diluted headline earnings per share to be at or above nominal GDP growth.

Read: Nedbank counters weak SA with earnings growth elsewhere 

4. Clover results

The finalisation of dairy firm Clover’s ownership remains at a standstill, after Brimstone reviewed its decision to be part of the purchase agreement with Israeli bottle firm, CBC, after facing backlash from a boycott and divestment group. Clover’s results for the six months ended December 31 2018, however showed marginal improvement, as headline earnings per share increased by 5.0% to 123.5 cents, while headline earnings picked up by 5.1% to R235.9 million. Earnings are up 0.2% to 123.5 cents and an interim dividend of 27.89 cents per share was declared, up 5.0%.

Read: Clover management backs bidders with plans to expand in Africa

5. Attacq results

Real estate investment trust, Attacq is reporting a 9.6% increase in distributable earning to R316.4 million for the six months ended December 31 2018. The company says its South African portfolio performed ‘well’, despite a challenging environment during the period, with most growth coming from ‘good trading growth’ from Mall of Africa and newly completed buildings in Waterfall. The company has declared an interim dividend 40.5 cents per share for the period under review. 

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