Omnia’s surge in earnings boosts share price 4%
DURBAN - OMNIA Holdings’ shares rose more than 4 percent on the JSE yesterday after the diversified chemicals group reported a surge in earnings of more than 200 percent for the six months to the end of September and a reduction of R1.4 billion in net debt.
Omnia reduced its debt to R1.9bn, down from R3.3bn compared with last year. Headline earnings per share from continuing operations increased by 228 percent to 141 cents a share, up from 43c compared with last year.
Omnia said in the past 18 months it had set out to execute on a deliberate strategy to stabilise the statement of financial position, to fix and renew its operations while exploring new growth opportunities. “This strategy has yielded, and continues to yield, good results that have put Omnia in a much healthier financial position,” the group said.
Group revenue from continuing operations was stable at R8.2bn and operating profit rose by 25 percent to R341 million, benefiting from ongoing targeted expense savings for the year.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation from continuing operations, excluding impairments, increased by 11 percent to R742m.
Chief executive Seelan Gobalsamy said the firm delivered a resilient performance, which was in line with their turnaround plan despite operating in a challenging environment, both locally and internationally.
“These results demonstrate the ability of our leadership and management teams to act swiftly and decisively in order to continue delivering on commitments made to our customers, shareholders and other stakeholders,” Gobalsamy said.
Omnia continued its delivery of essential services, including primary chemicals and solutions for the agriculture, mining, manufacturing and fuel sectors which play an essential role in food security, economic stability and the livelihoods of people globally throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
In October, Omnia announced its intention to dispose of Oro Agri to Rovensa, a European-headquartered business.
Omnia said the sale remained subject to approval by its shareholders in December and it would generate aggregate cash proceeds of approximately $146.9m (about R2.26 billion), thereby de-risking the group’s balance sheet.
Gobalsamy said they were now firmly in the “fix and renew” phase of their turnaround strategy. “The implementation of our new operating model was substantially completed during the period and has already resulted in improved production reliability,” he said.
Omnia shares closed 4.07 percent higher at R46 on the JSE yesterday.