/ 26 August 2009

Imperial full-year profit up

Africa’s biggest transport and logistics firm, Imperial Holdings, reported a rise in full-year profit on Wednesday, but said it expected the logistics industry in Southern Africa to remain under pressure.

The South African company posted a 13% rise to 698 cents in headline earnings per share from continuing operations for the year to end June, in line with its forecast of a 10% to 15% increase.

Revenue from continuing operations fell 7% to R52,2-billion.

Imperial, whose activities span logistics, car rental and vehicle retailing, said earnings had been helped by foreign exchange gains through the repatriation of its European operations, but said conditions in Europe would remain tough.

It said it expected vehicle sales to remain weak in the year ahead.

Imperial has suffered torrid times as high interest rates in the past few years hit new vehicle sales and slowed demand for car rentals, while recession cut freight volumes for its logistics unit.

The firm declared a final dividend of 120 cents per share. — Reuters