File image: IOL.

JOHANNESBURG - Industrial company Barloworld said on Monday its headline earnings per share were up 32 percent to 481 cents in the six months ended March 31.

The company said headline earnings per share from continuing operations rose 14 percent to 457 cents and operating profit from continuing operations increased by six percent to R2 billion.

Barloworld, which is a distributor of leading global brands with head offices in Johannesburg and Maidenhead in the United Kingdom, declared an interim dividend per share of 145 cents, up 16 percent from the first half of the previous financial year.

"The group produced a much improved result for the six months ended 31 March 2018 despite challenging trading conditions in some areas," chief executive Dominic Sewela said.

"We continue to drive focus on addressing underperformance across the business," Sewela added, noting that in line with that Barloworld had in April announced the disposal of the Equipment Iberia business which was expected to be concluded by July 2.

With the disposal, the company said it was focused on exploring various strategic opportunities for the deployment of the capital released in the transaction.

Barloworld currently has operations in 15 countries around the world with approximately 83 percent of just over 18,000 employees in South Africa.

- African News Agency (ANA)