South African chemicals group AECI Limited said on Wednesday its headline earnings per share slid 20 percent to 365 cents in the six months to June.

JOHANNESBURG  - South African chemicals group AECI Limited said on Wednesday its headline earnings per share slid 20 percent to 365 cents in the six months to June, with profitability negatively impacted by a number of issues including costs associated with strategic realignment projects initiated in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The projects were initiated by AEL Intelligent Blasting and ImproChem, and both were essentially completed by June 30  at a total cost of R204 million.

Profit from operations was R826 million, nine percent lower than over the same period in 2018.

AECI said profitability was also hit by a change in accounting policies and power supply constraints in South Africa in the first quarter, which curtailed some of its own operations and had more adverse consequences for customers in some sectors serviced by the group.

Interim revenue however grew 14 percent to R11.972 billion, underpinned by contributions for the full period from the acquisitions finalised in 2018, namely Schirm and Much Asphalt.

"Pleasing revenue improvements were achieved in all of the group’s strategic pillars," AECI said.

"The mining solutions segment benefited from higher sales volumes on the continent outside of South Africa as well as the weaker rand/US dollar exchange rate."

Foreign and export revenue of R4.971 billion accounted for 42 percent of total revenue.

The board declared an interim cash dividend of 156 cents per ordinary share, an increase of five percent from 2018’s 149 cents per share. 

- African News Agency (ANA)