PPC Group reported on Wednesday that its half-year net profit fell by more than two-thirds as a result of higher finance costs and weaker currencies in African countries where it has operations.
The results are compared with the last reporting period‚ which was in March 2016 due to the company changing its financial year-end.
Net profit in the six months to September slid 83% to R58m as finance costs jumped 54% after note-holders requested early settlement to the tune of R1.611bn.
The cement producer also suffered foreign exchange losses of R87m‚ the bulk of which relate to unfavourable currency movements against the US dollar in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
Revenue was up 15% to R5.2bn due to higher cement sales volumes‚ specifically in SA‚ where cement volumes were up 13%‚ and Rwanda‚ where volumes were up 19% to 148‚000 tons.
Capital expenditure in the period was R1.04bn‚ with R307m used for the Slurry kiln 9 project in SA and the balance mainly on the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe expansion projects.
Group debt was down to R5.914m from R9.17bn in March following the receipt of proceeds from the rights issue.
“The successful completion of the rights issue allowed us to significantly reduce debt levels and strengthen our balance sheet against the cyclical nature of our business‚” CE Darryll Castle said.