Johannesburg - Chemicals and explosives maker AECI [JSE:AFE]
posted a 24% fall in annual earnings on Tuesday, snapping three straight years
of growth as slack demand from strike-hit mining firms weighed.
AECI said headline earnings per share totalled 547 cents in
the year to end-December compared with 720c a year earlier.
Revenue rose 11% to R14.92bn, largely as a result of the
weaker rand/dollar exchange rate and increased selling prices. Overall volumes
A weaker rand is a positive for South African exporters as
it lifts profits when overseas earnings are brought home.
Last year's protracted strikes in the mining, transport and
agricultural sectors hit the group's profit from operations by more than R100m.
AECI is expected to struggle this year as its key customers
in the mining industry in South Africa shut unprofitable mines and cut capital
expenditure to head off the effects of lower metal prices and higher costs.
The company declared a final cash dividend of 185c per
ordinary share, up from 179c the previous year.
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