Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Absa, Old Mutual, AVI and Rand Merchant Investment results, rand update.
Absa's unbundling from Barclays impacts results. Picture: Waldo Swiegers, Bloomberg

Here’s what caught our attention on Monday:

1. Absa results

Absa’s unbundling from Barclays, which still holds a 14.9% in the group, is likely to impact its financial results for the next few years, the bank said in a statement. During the reporting period ended December 31, 2018, Absa is reporting a drop in both headline earnings and headline earnings per share to R7.85 billion and 1 751.7 cents per ordinary share, respectively. This is compared with the 1 939.4 cents reported in 2017. The bank is declaring a preference dividend of 3 518.69 cents per Absa Bank preference share for the period between September 1 2018 and February 28 2019.

Read more here and here.

2. Old Mutual results

Financial services provider, Old Mutual is reporting a strong turnaround in Old Mutual Insure as well as strong sales in Corporate Wealth and Investments and Mass and Foundation Cluster, for the year ended December 31, 2018. The company’s headline earnings increased to R14.24 billion from R13.14 billion, while adjusted headline earnings fell slightly to R11.51 billion during the period. Adjusted headline earnings per share fell to 239.1 cents and a final dividend of 72 cents per share was declared.

Read more here.

3. AVI results

Food producer, AVI says the trading environment during the six months ended December 31, 2018, remained difficult as ‘continued pressure on consumer spending resulted in sales volumes weakness’ in its businesses. The company is reporting a 6.2% decrease in headline earnings per share to 305.5 cents and a fall in operating profit by 6.4% on a like-for-like basis. An interim dividend of 165 cents per share was declared.

4. Rand Merchant Investment results

Financial services and investment firm, Rand Merchant Investments which is an active manager of a R56 billion financial portfolio, including Discovery, MMI Holdings and OUTsurance is reporting an 8% fall in normalised headline earnings to R2.09 billion and a 9% fall in normalised headline earnings per share to 137.2 cents for the six months ended December 31, 2018. A dividend of 45 cents per share is being declared, up 15%.

5. Rand update

The rand extended gains over the weekend, which saw it sit at R14.41 to the dollar on Monday at 9:46.

Read: Rand firms in subdued start for emerging markets

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