AFRIMAT: strong results amid favourable iron ore pricing

Afrimat delivered strong results for the year ended 28 February 2021 despite the effect caused by the sudden and unexpected global Covid-19 pandemic and hard lockdown levels imposed during the first half of the financial year. This disruption was countered by the implementation of proactive measures to manage and minimise the impact of this pandemic. The Group’s strategy of diversification enabled the Group to continue delivering growth.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Operating profit up 47,5% to R886,3 million
  • Revenue up 11,8% to R3,7 billion
  • HEPS up 27,0% to 441,7 cents
  • Net debt:equity ratio improved from 8,2% to 3,8%
  • Return on net operating assets 34,0%

FINANCIAL RESULTS

Operating profit increased by an impressive 47,5% from R601,0 million to R886,3 million. Headline earnings per share grew by 27,0% from 347,7 cents to 441,7 cents per share and revenue increased by 11,8% from R3,3 billion to R3,7 billion.

Net cash from operating activities increased by 13,4% to R767,6 million, which resulted in an improvement of the net debt:equity ratio from 8,2% in the prior year to 3,8% in the current year.

OPERATIONAL REVIEW

The negative impact of the national lockdown on the Group was dampened by the partial reopening of the Demaneng iron ore mine and certain Industrial Minerals operations early during the lockdown period.

The reopening was undertaken with utmost care to ensure the safety and well-being of all employees. From 20 April 2020, as gazetted by the government, industries in the mining and quarrying sector were granted permission to resume operations.

Afrimat ramped up operations according to market demand and in line with government regulations. The Construction Materials and Industrial Minerals segments returned to profitability once the hard lockdown levels imposed during the first half of the financial year were lifted.

In the second half of the year, the Construction Materials segment achieved good growth compared to the corresponding period in the previous financial year, whilst the Industrial Minerals segment experienced satisfactory results. The Bulk Commodities segment benefited strongly from favourable iron ore pricing, which contributed to exceptional growth in profits during the year.

The Bulk Commodities segment, consisting of the Demaneng iron ore mine and Nkomati anthracite mine (included in the full year results for three months), delivered an exceptional contribution to the Group results of 42,9% of revenue.

Operating profit increased by 128,4% from R321,7 million to R734,7 million, as a result of favourable iron ore pricing during the year. This translated into an increase in the operating margin from 31,0% to 46,4%. The Nkomati anthracite mine contributed start-up losses of R33,8 million for the three months, December 2020 to February 2021, included in these results.

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