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Imperial half-year profit falls

Dividend now pegged to Heps.
Imperial CEO Mark Lamberti

JOHANNESBURG – South African logistics group Imperial Holdings posted a 15% fall in half-year profit on Tuesday and said dividends in future would be based on headline earnings per share (Heps).

Group interim headline earnings per share (Heps) fell 15% to 682 cents, in line with what the company previously flagged to the market, in the face of foreign exchange losses, higher finance costs, and higher amortisation of intangible assets arising from acquisitions.

Heps is the most widely watched profit gauge in South Africa and strips out certain one-off items.

An interim cash dividend of 320 cents per ordinary share was declared, 47% of Heps.

“In recent years, although no formal dividend policy exists, the Imperial ordinary dividend was determined by reference to core earnings. In future the dividend will be determined by reference to Heps, which is the conventional metric on which dividend is based, and the board will determine the dividend cover with due regard to the company’s circumstances,” the company said.

In Africa, the group said: “Falling commodity demand, low oil prices and the consequent impact on currencies and private consumption has negatively impacted the growth rate in the African region where R5.7 billion or 9% of group revenue and R461 million or 16% of group operating profit was generated during the period.”

“We expect the Imperial group to achieve a single digit increase in revenues and unchanged operating profit for the year to June 2017,” the company said. ($1 = R13.0600) 

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