Sephaku Holdings profit increases despite challenging economic environment
JSE-listed minerals exploration, development and investment company Sephaku Holdings’ (SepHold’s) net profit increased by 12.8% year-on-year to R68.1-million for the year ended March 31, despite its revenue having decreased to R839.9-million on the back of lower prices and reduced market demand. CEO Dr Lelau Mohuba on Friday noted that operating profits increased to R84.7- million from R84.2-million the year before. Basic earnings a share increased to 33.63c from 30c and earnings a share to 33.37c from 29.84c, despite the challenging market conditions that had prevailed during the year under review.
SepHold’s mixed concrete subsidiary Métier had recorded a 7.3% increase in net profit to R67.4-million, despite revenue having declined by 3.9%. Mohuba said the primary cause for the increase in the number of independent mixed concrete manufacturers was owing to the lower pricing for bulk cement. He pointed out that the “most aggressive competitors” were the vertically integrated companies that provided a “captive market” for the related cement and aggregates manufacturers. He said the subsidiary’s performance further demonstrated management’s mantle through the reduction in the cost of sales by 5.2% to R483.7-million and operational expenses by 3.7% to R250.4-million to support margins.
Following positive results for the past two years, Métier was able to pay a R50- million dividend to SepHold and reduced its overall bank debt obligations by R87-million to R215.9-million. Meanwhile, SepHold’s other subsidiary, cement producer Sephaku Cement (SepCem), recorded an 4% year-on-year rise in sales volumes. However, the average price per ton decreased by 4.6% year-on-year for the period ended December 31, 2016. SepCem’s results are for the year ended December 31, owing to Dangote Cement’s shareholding in the company.