Grindrod share price slips 9.9%, Newsline

CAPE TOWN – GRINDROD’S share price fell 9.9 percent to R5.09 yesterday afternoon in spite of a business update that said the port, terminals and logistics group’s operations were “robust” in the 12 months to December 31.

The group businesses had recovered well in the second half of the financial year to December 31, 2020, a statement said.

The Port and Terminals division matched its 2019 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, due to the weaker rand which boosted dollar revenues, offsetting lower volumes.

Maputo Port grew earnings by 18 percent as a weaker rand against the US dollar offset the impact of a 13 percent decline in volumes.

Matola Terminal’s improved tariffs and cost management ameliorated the decline in volume.

In logistics, the coastal shipping, container depots and multi-purpose terminal businesses achieved earnings growth of 15 percent.

This was due to increased shipping activities, a buoyant citrus season and strong mineral volumes.

Grindrod’s presence in Northern Mozambique as a logistics corridor player in the liquefied natural gas project development had yielded positive results.

Services offered at the project had expanded to operate seven vessels, transport, shore side equipment and stevedoring for effective supply chain solutions to the region.

Development of the Intermodal facility at Palma was expected to be completed in the first half of 2021. Overall, the business reported a 13 percent earnings growth.

The clearing and forwarding business delivered earnings growth of 83 percent due to extensive work on contracts. The ships agency business turned its performance around, achieving positive earnings for the period from a loss position in 2019.

Rail Logistics’ profitability declined due to force majeure calls on Mozambican and South African contracts resulting from temporary restrictions on mine operations and the transportation of non-essential cargo, reduced leasing rates and deployment.

The road transport businesses were impacted by the decline in domestic fuel consumption and new vehicles sales. Restructuring had been implemented across the business units.

Grindrod Bank’s advances at R8 billion were 9 percent up on 2019, while core deposits saw a decrease of 8 percent. The bank remained profitable, well capitalised and liquid.

A single transaction to dispose of a significant part of the private equity and property portfolio and the loans to the KZN North Coast fell through in December 2020. An impairment of R253.4 million was made to the carrying value of these loans. The portfolio remained subject to a disposal process.

edward.west@inl.co.za

BUSINESS REPORT