Johannesburg - The financial performance and profitability of Cargo Carriers was significantly boosted in the six months to August by its acquisition of a 55 percent shareholding in Buks Haulage in Zambia, the sale of surplus assets and a dedicated focus on certain loss-making contracts.
The listed logistics and transportation group reported yesterday that interim headline earnings a share grew 141.8 percent to R1.497.
Murray Bolton, the joint chief executive of Cargo Carriers, said acquisitions, new business and the disposal of surplus assets had a favourable impact on the increased earnings.
He said the interim results were very positive and encouraging, reflecting well on the group’s endeavour for long-term profitable growth.
Revenue rose 45.5 percent year on year to R480.15 million. Profit from operating activities more than doubled to R47.3m from R21.6m.
Bolton attributed the strong revenue and operating profit growth to the contribution from Buks Haulage and the organic growth in the business.
He said the disposal of surplus property and an aircraft contributed significantly to an R8.6m profit on sale, but a R3.2m impairment of non-operating assets that had been classified as held for sale had a negative impact on the industrial and agriculture segments.
The sales generated a net increase of R47.3m in cash and short-term deposits during the latter part of the reporting period, which had a positive impact on the growth in finance income of 57.2 percent to R2.9m, he added.
Bolton said the performance was pleasing in light of a challenging local and global economy. “The business has managed to increase its profitability in difficult trading times and its long-term strategy for growth is materialising.”
A gross interim cash dividend of 15c a share was declared, which is 50 percent higher than a year earlier.
Turning to the group’s prospects, Bolton said the local and global economy continued to be plagued by uncertainties and the group intended to focus its efforts on profitable growth in the form of acquisitions and new business opportunities.
This would allow Cargo Carriers to gain market share and leverage synergies within its operations. The group’s current low gearing and strong balance sheet augured well for pursuing such investment and growth opportunities, he said.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the group was expected to operate profitably for the rest of the year.
The shares were untraded at R18 on the JSE yesterday. - Business Report