Tongaat profit sweeter but jobless rate rises
TONGAAT Hulett reported a 45% rise in full-year earnings, helped by higher export prices and improved local prices. The sugar producer said basic headline earnings per share rose to 852.7c from 588c the previous year.
THE South African Weather Service said in its monthly forecast that the likelihood of El Niño returning later this year had decreased. The weather pattern brought a scorching drought to Southern Africa last year.
AFTER a slump in April following the cabinet reshuffle and credit rating downgrades, the seasonally adjusted Absa purchasing managers’ index recovered in May, climbing to 51.5 index points from 44.7 in April.
BHP lifted a declaration of force majeure at its Escondida copper mine in Chile, more than a month after a costly strike came to an end. The mining house declared force majeure at the mine in early February.
SOUTH Africa’s jobless rate rose in the three months through March as employment in farming and trade fell. The unemployment rate increased to 27.7% from 26.5% in the previous three months, Stats SA said. That is the highest rate since 2003, according to IMF data.
MR Price Group posted a 12% drop in full-year earnings, its first annual-profit decline since 2001, as consumers struggle in a sluggish economy. However, the clothing retailer kept its dividend unchanged.
THE debt stress of South African businesses deteriorated slightly in the first quarter of this year, with the Experian business debt index at -0.081, down from -0.069 in the fourth quarter of last year.
GROCERY chain Spar cut its interim dividend by 6% to R2.40 from the matching period’s R2.55, despite growing revenue and profit. Revenue grew 14% to R48.4billion and attributable profit was up 10% to R908-million.