JOHANNESBURG – Packaging company Nampak said on Tuesday its group revenue ticked up one percent to R17.3 billion in the year to September, while trading profit increased by three percent to R2 billion.

Headline earnings per share for the year were at 168.7 cents, a 15 percent rise from 2017.

"Nampak group performance was pleasing in a tough economic environment in most of the geographies in which we operate," the company said.

"Good cost control led to operational efficiencies, with improved margins for Bevcan and the recovery of DivFood, despite lacklustre demand in South Africa."

Nampak said the outlook in South Africa was challenging and demand driven, with consumer spending under pressure after an increase in value-added tax earlier in the year, higher fuel and electricity prices as well as a technical recession.

The company however remained positive about business prospects in Nigeria and would focus on expanding its product offering by investing in a new 500 ml beverage can size and investing in a food can line to service its significant consumer base in the medium term. 

Prospects for an economic recovery in Angola were solid after the devaluation of the kwanza currency. While demand remained relatively strong in Zimbabwe, liquidity was a concern and Nampak would supply customers to the extent that foreign currency was availed to secure raw materials. 

"The rest of Africa’s operations will continue to be reviewed for rationalisation opportunities in order to service these markets more profitably," it added.

African News Agency (ANA)