Ton­gaat profit sweeter but job­less rate rises

Sunday Times - - OPINION -

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.

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