AFROX & BELL EQ U I P M E N T Subdued demand
African Oxygen (Afrox), which is grappling with weak demand for its gases and welding products, was dealt another blow last week when well-respected MD Brett Kimber unexpectedly resigned with immediate effect.
In many ways, Afrox and smaller JSE-listed industrial firm Bell Equipment tell a similar story. Bell provides earth-moving, construction, mining and materials-handling equipment.
In a depressed SA economy, subdued demand for Bell’s and Afrox’s products, from the mining, construction and manufacturing sectors in particular, is taking its toll on the companies.
Both are well-known local firms with a long history on the JSE and in SA’s industrial sector, but late last year both announced the need for substantial cost cuts.
Kimber, who had been at the helm of Afrox for three years and was overseeing a R1,5bn capital investment programme, left to pursue other career opportunities, Afrox says. “We have only just been informed of Brett’s resignation and have no further information at this time,”