Chemicals and explosives maker AECI posted a 24 percent fall in annual earnings yesterday, snapping three years of growth on slack demand from strike-hit mines.

Headline earnings a share fell to R5.47 in the year to December from R7.20 a year earlier.

Revenue rose 11 percent to R14.92 billion, largely on a weaker rand and increased selling prices.

Overall volumes were flat. Strikes in the mining, transport and agricultural sectors last year hit profit from operations by more than R100 million.

AECI declared a final cash dividend of R1.85 a share, up from R1.79 the previous year. It is expected to struggle this year as key customers shut unprofitable mines.

The shares leapt 5.1 percent to R94.05 yesterday. – Reuters