Interviewed after the release of the group’s half-year results on Friday, Waller said the Dubai authorities and the group’s insurers had requested he not divulge the details of what transpired at the onshore bunker oil and inshore oil trading operations in Dubai. “Several employees have been dismissed and legal proceedings instituted. The business has notified the insurers of a potential claim,” he said. The matter involved several employees, as well as individuals outside the group, he said.
Meanwhile, Grindrod management had decided that the Marine Fuel operations, along with agricultural investments, were non-core, and a decision had been made to sell these.
Discontinued operations - Marine Fuel and agricultural investments - reported a trading loss of R241million (R3.67billion) versus a R371m trading profit in the same period last year. This included the impairment provision in the Marine Fuels United Arab Emirates business.
Waller said Grindrod’s focus on the trade corridors in sub-Saharan Africa had resulted in the continuing operations turning in a profit in the six months to June 30, compared with a loss previously. Continuing operations generated earnings of R136.7m against a loss of R418.2m in the first six months of 2018. Headline earnings for these operations grew 118percent to R136.7m. The headline loss per share for total operations was 17.8cents versus a 46.3c profit previously.