South Africa’s Imperial full-year earnings down 7 pct, shares fall

August 27, 2014

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African auto dealer and logistics group Imperial Holdings reported a 7 percent drop in full-year profit on Wednesday, as a weakening rand currency weighed on its auto importing business.

Shares of Imperial fell more than 3 percent in early trade after the company flagged further pain in the near future.

“The short term outlook is daunting,” it said in a statement, adding it expects a decline in earnings for the first-half of 2015 from the currency impact.

Imperial said diluted headline earnings per share totalled 1,606 cents in the ear to end-June, from 1,731 cents a year earlier.

Profits from its vehicle import business were “severely depressed” by the knock-on effect from the weakening of the rand during 2013, Imperial said.

During that time, the rand fell as much as 30 percent against a basket of currencies, the company said.

Imperial is a major importer of nearly 20 auto and industrial vehicle brands, including Kia and Mitsubishi cars and Crown forklifts.

Shares of the company were down 2.2 percent at 190.90 rand at 0727 GMT after earlier falling more than 3 percent.

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