AIR PRODUCTS SOUTH AFRICA PROPRIETARY LIMITED (AIR PRODUCTS)
Air Products has a September year-end, but its results for the 12 months ended 31 March 2017 have been included in Remgro’s results for the period under review. Air Products’ contribution to Remgro’s headline earnings for the period under review increased by 8.2% to R298 million (2016: R275 million).
Turnover for Air Products’ 12 months ended 31 March 2017 increased by 6.9% to R2 791 million (2016: R2 612 million), while the company’s operating profit for the same period increased by 4.9% to R857 million (2016: R817 million).
Air Products is the largest manufacturer of industrial gases in Southern Africa and also imports and distributes a variety of specialty gases and chemical products that are supplied to a wide range of industries including steel, chemicals, oil refining, resource minerals, glass, pulp and paper, food packaging as well as general manufacturing, fabrication and welding.
Trading conditions continued to be subdued during the period, with both volumes and pricing under some pressure, particularly in the manufacturing and resource minerals sectors.
KAGISO TISO HOLDINGS PROPRIETARY LIMITED (KTH)
KTH is a leading black-owned investment company with a strong and diversified asset portfolio covering the resources, industrial, media, financial services, healthcare, property and information technology sectors.
KTH’s contribution to Remgro’s headline earnings for the year under review amounted to R34 million (2016: R229 million headline loss). The increased earnings were mainly driven by KTH’s attributable share of positive fair value adjustments on its equity investments in Exxaro Resources Limited (R52 million), AECI Limited (R65 million) and Aveng Limited (R19 million), offset by a negative adjustment on the MMI Holdings Limited’s convertible preference shares (R104 million). During the prior year KTH’s headline loss included negative fair value adjustments from MMI Holdings Limited’s convertible preference shares (R285 million), Exxaro Resources Limited (R167 million) and AECI Limited (R99 million).
Income from equity accounted investments decreased to R119 million (2016: R347 million), partly due to the disposal of Idwala Industrial Holdings Proprietary Limited and Metropolitan Healthcare Corporate Limited, as well as lower contributions from other equity accounted investments due to the difficult macroeconomic conditions. The major contributor of equity accounted earnings was MMI Holdings Limited.
Net finance costs decreased to R373 million (2016: R409 million) mainly due to lower debt levels.
TOTAL SOUTH AFRICA PROPRIETARY LIMITED (TOTAL)
Total has a December year-end, but its results for the 12 months to 30 June 2017 have been included in Remgro’s results for the year under review. Total’s contribution to Remgro’s headline earnings for the year under review amounted to R224 million (2016: R291 million).
The results were impacted by unfavourable stock revaluations of R454 million (2016: R491 million) as the international oil price decreased from US$48.3 per barrel, at 30 June 2016, to US$46.5 per barrel at 30 June 2017.
Total’s turnover for the 12 months ended 30 June 2017 increased by 10% to R53 866 million (2016: R48 940 million). The increase in turnover is mainly due to increased volumes sold in the mining and commercial sectors, which carry a lower margin.
The company has continued with its investments regarding health, safety, environment and quality (HSEQ) constraints to comply with increased stringent legislation and developing group requirements. The key focus areas are environmental compliance, transport and construction contractors’ compliance. An aggressive realignment of HSEQ structures has taken place with HSEQ resources now being deployed at all levels in Total’s Operational Departments to ensure better delivery and control of these initiatives.
Natref experienced lower refining margins compared to the previous period due to a less favourable economic environment and lower refinery availability due to both planned and unplanned shutdowns.
PGSI LIMITED (PGSI)
PGSI has a December year-end, but its results for the 12 months ended 30 June 2017 have been included in Remgro’s results for the year under review. PGSI’s contribution to Remgro’s headline earnings for the year under review amounted to R25 million (2016: R36 million).
PGSI’s turnover for the period under review increased by 5.4% to R4 173 million (2016: R3 958 million). The group’s normalised operating profit, which excludes the impact of asset impairments, decreased from R223 million to R206 million, mainly due to the stronger rand and low economic activity.
The group’s main operating subsidiary in South Africa, PG Group, manufactures and supplies glass for the building and automotive industries. The building sector remains depressed, reporting a decline in building activity over the prior year, resulting in a decline in revenue during the period. The strong rand, particularly in the first six months of 2017 also negatively impacted export profitability.
The market conditions in the automotive businesses also remain difficult. This sector has been negatively impacted by the economic climate, with pressures on consumers, lower volumes of claims from the insurance sector and weak demand in export markets. New local vehicle sales have been declining for the past 12 months. While the company expects to secure new supply contracts with the OEM assembly operations, it does not foresee significant growth in this area. The company’s automotive manufacturing and distribution businesses reported a decline in profits in the period, while the automotive retail operations have seen positive growth over the prior period’s results, driven by increased volumes from the low-priced Safevue product offering as well as efficiencies achieved through the automotive supply chain.
While the economic climate remains challenging, the group has made good progress in the areas of cost reduction, manufacturing quality and performance efficiencies. The initiatives to focus on market requirement and improve the service offering to its customers are progressing well.
WISPECO HOLDINGS PROPRIETARY LIMITED (WISPECO)
Wispeco’s turnover for the year ended 30 June 2017 increased by 6.0% to R2 232 million (2016: R2 105 million). The average selling price was slightly higher while sales volumes remained flat compared to the previous year. Continued improvements in efficiencies and productivity supported profit growth. Headline earnings for the year under review increased by 17.4% to R169 million (2016: R144 million). Intense price competition remains prevalent at all levels of the industry.
Wispeco continues to invest in state-of-the-art technologies as part of its drive to become a world-class manufacturer of aluminium extrusions. The company utilised its capacity and flexible shift systems to offer short make-to-order lead times and maximise customer service. The year ahead will see further investments in cutting-edge technologies. At the end of the 2017 financial year, Wispeco acquired two aluminium stockist outlets in Namibia, these being the company’s first footprint across the border.
The company’s Crealco range of architectural products sets the trend in Southern Africa for the use of aluminium in buildings. The product range is continuously being expanded and improved to meet changing market needs. The Crealco brand carries the reputation for being the preferred choice of specification by architects and building designers. The modern Crealco range is supported by various software solutions allowing fit-for-purpose and cost-effective design as well as compliance assurance to national standards while at the same time allowing designers more freedom to express creativity.
Wispeco continues its externally focused training initiatives to upskill disabled and previously disadvantaged youths with the aim of finding employment in the aluminium industry. Internal training programmes target productivity improvement and development of skills to support future growth.