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JOHANNESBURG - Waste management company Interwaste said yesterday that it remained upbeat about maintaining its solid performance, despite the tightening regulatory environment in the local and global markets.

The group, which posted a 24percent growth in revenue to R595million in the six months to June, said it was apprehensive about legislative changes afoot in all its markets, particularly China, which has banned imports on some waste materials and slug.

China is looking to ban a further 16 waste materials as part of its National Sword campaign.

The bans have led to the stockpiling of products, which has driven down the value of previously related export materials while alternative markets and solutions are found for their re-use.

“Our internationally accredited operating standards and innovative service offerings continue to enable Interwaste to be the supplier of choice for many local and international clients,” the group said.

No dividend

Interwaste’s operating profit rose 22percent to R59.8m from R49m during the corresponding period last year.

Headline earnings per share increased 41percent to 6.43cents from 4.55c.

Interwaste said it would not pay a dividend in the interim period.

The group was hamstrung by lower-than-expected-growth in South Africa’s gross domestic product and imports ban in China.

Its saving grace was the logistics division, which increased revenue 29percent to R544m from R423m.

Profits from operating activities increased by 38percent.

Cash generated before financing increased to R78.2m from R76m last year.

Profit before tax increased 47percent to R47.8m, while operating profit rose 22percent to R59.8m.

Competitive

“The trading environment remains competitive, but Interwaste’s strategy of providing integrated waste-management solutions and controlling the entire value chain affords us a competitive advantage,” the group said.

Revenue rose 24percent to R595m despite lower disposal volumes and tough trading.

Financing costs fell 27percent to R16.4m, with the company reducing its net debt-to-equity ratio to 19.2percent from the prior period’s 41.3percent.

Interwaste disposes of mine and residential waste.

Interwaste’s shares closed unchanged on the JSE yesterday at 83c.

-BUSINESS REPORT