Afrox expects to report earnings per share of between 93 cents and 103c a share, representing an increase of 20 percent and 32 percent higher than the 77.8c reported last year.Photo: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - JSE-LISTED African Oxygen (Afrox) share price climbed more than 7percent after a release of a favourable trading update for the six months to end June.

The share price rose to its highest in three months at R20 a share and ended the day at that price. In the trading update the company said it expected its earnings per share (Eps) to be between 93cents and 103c a share and this would be 20percent and 32percent higher than the 77.8c a share reported last year.

Afrox also expected to see its headlines earnings per share (Heps) to increase by between 20percent and 33percent.

“Headline earnings per share will be between 92c and 102c a share, and being 20 percent and 33 percent higher than the 76.5c a share in the previous corresponding period,” the group said.

The group said that the increase in Eps and Heps was largely due to an increase in volumes in most areas of the business, improved operational efficiencies together with an increase in interest earned.

The results were expected to be published on or about September 8.

The restructuring by the group under the chief executive Schalk Venter in 2015 had returned the group to sound footing after reporting losses prior the restructuring. It has managed to cut costs by engaging in aggressive restructuring.

In July the group announced that its sites in Epping and Roodekop had shown that they were at the top of their game and capable of shattering production records in an effort to meet customer demand.

In June, the group reported that Epping’s MPG cylinder filler teams churned out a staggering 83300 cylinders, of which 59600 were LPG.

Afrox Roodekop went even further in its June filling, distributing more than 130000 cylinders of LPG. This followed hard on the heels of record production output at East London and Polokwane sites in May.

“The fact is that Roodekop set two new production records for this year; filling more cylinders than it has for the past nine years, while in June it also executed 1146 delivery orders, 97percent of them in full and on time,” Ivan De Jager said in June.

De Jager is the production manager for Roodekop, Polokwane and Newcastle.

The group reported impressive results for the year to end December with both headline earnings per share and earnings per share increasing by 36.1percent and 44percent, respectively. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of R1.24billion was up 23.2percent with margin improvement of 400 basis points to 22.3percent, reflecting litigation settlement, benefits of turnaround and countermeasuresagainst strong headwinds.

- BUSINESS REPORT