Mondi: Rising profit sends stock to record

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Shares in Mondi Limited rose to a record high yesterday after the country’s biggest packaging company said full-year profit probably beat estimates as the rand weakened against the dollar. The stock gained as much as 3.4 percent in morning trade before closing 2.59 percent higher at R188. The JSE’s all share index rose 0.69 percent on the day, while the forestry and paper index added 2.48 percent. The Johannesburg-based maker of consumer packaging is opening factories in China and Iraq as it focuses on emerging markets to boost earnings. The company said basic underlying earnings a share for the 12 months to December last year probably rose to between 92 euro cents (R13.83) and 97c from 69.2c the previous year. Basic headline earnings a share probably rose by between 40 percent and 48 percent from 62.9 euro cents last year. “Mondi is a net exporter from South Africa, so declining exchange rates boost its operating margins,” Justin Jordan, an equity analyst at Jefferies International, wrote in an e-mailed note to clients yesterday. The rand slumped 19 percent against the dollar last year. – Bloomberg

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