‘Re­silience’ shown in tough times

The Star Early Edition - - COMPANIES -

THE JSE YES­TER­DAY re­ported an 18 per­cent de­cline in first-half earn­ings to R419 mil­lion com­pared with R513m in last year’s first half. It said its per­for­mance was “re­silient against the back­drop of a tough op­er­at­ing en­vi­ron­ment”. Op­er­at­ing rev­enue dropped 8 per­cent to R1.1 bil­lion com­pared with R1.2bn last year with to­tal ex­penses at R644m com­pared with R636m last year. The JSE said the coun­try’s low eco­nomic growth, rat­ing down­grades and a loss of busi­ness con­fi­dence had neg­a­tively im­pacted fi­nan­cial mar­ket ac­tiv­ity this year. Global se­cu­ri­ties ex­changes and other play­ers in the fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­dus­try were chang­ing the way in which they op­er­ated in re­sponse to reg­u­la­tory and tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments. “The fast pace of this change re­quires us to ad­just the way in which we op­er­ate so that we are as nim­ble and as cost ef­fec­tive as pos­si­ble. To do this, we have announced mea­sures to sig­nif­i­cantly re-en­gi­neer our cost base, our op­er­at­ing model and the way we are struc­tured,” the JSE said. Earn­ings be­fore in­ter­est and tax de­clined 20 per­cent to R453m com­pared with R567m in the pre­vi­ous com­pa­ra­ble pe­riod. Earn­ings a share dropped 18 per­cent to 490.9 cents com­pared with 599.7c and head­line earn­ings a share de­clined 16 per­cent to 488.9c com­pared with 585.1c in the first half of last year. The JSE said it worked hard to limit cost growth to 1 per­cent and that it re­mained cash gen­er­a­tive with a strong cash bal­ance of R2bn. The com­pany is also likely to re­trench 60 of its full-time staff mem­bers this year. – Sizwe Dlamini

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