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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Group Five has a recovery strategy, SAA in a 7-year loss streak, Datatec releases results, Tharisa declares cash dividend, and Famous Brands anticipates ‘weak’ results.

Here’s what caught our attention on Thursday:

1. Group Five survives through debt standstill

Construction company Group Five has managed to bridge its finances and negotiate a debt standstill with creditors. Moneyweb reported that the cash-strapped company’s share price picked up 1.17% on Wednesday as a result of this development. Issues in its Kpone Ghana project led to losses of R649 million, while in April it reported an interim operating loss of R775 million.

2. SAA on a seven-year losing streak

South African Airways, known to be a burden on the fiscus, said it will consult with National Treasury every fortnight to address urgent funding needs. The parastatal has been incurring losses for seven straight years, Bloomberg reported. CEO Vuyani Jarana, who was brought in to turn the enterprise around, said last month that SAA needed R5 billion ‘immediately’ to pay off debt.

Read: SAA to get R5bn cash injection after plea for cash

3. Tharisa mine declares first cash dividend

Tharisa mining company, which mines platinum, said via a Sens statement on Thursday that it will declare its first interim ordinary cash dividend of US$2 cents, in line with its dividend policy which says it should distribute 15% of its profit. South African shareholders (who are exempt from dividend tax) will receive a dividend of 24.81 cents per share.

Read: Tharisa acquires 90% stake in Zimbabwean chrome

4. Datatec results

Information and communications technology company Datatec said it generated a stronger balance sheet in its provisional results for the year ended February 28 2018. Revenue increased to $3.92 billion, and earnings per share to 20.5 US cents (2017: 1.4 US cents). It incurred an underlying loss per share of 5.6 US cents (2017 underlying earnings per share: 11.0 US cents).

5. Famous Brands anticipates weaker results

In a trading statement, Famous Brands said the results for the 12 months ended February 28 2018 are expected to be weaker as a result of an impairment of intangible assets, property, plant and equipment as well as a provision for property-related expenses. Headline earnings per share are expected to be between 327 and 405 cents per share and basic earnings per share between 18 and 23 cents per share. Results will be released on May 24.

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