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Company news in brief

Exxaro profit climbs

Exxaro Resources reported a 78% increase in earnings thanks to the exceptional performance of its coal business, driven by a high-quality product mix and increases in export and domestic sales prices, and in spite of logistical challenges.

The group yesterday reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) climbed to R19 billion in the year ended in December 2022, up from R10.6 billion previously. Headline earnings per share increased 28% to R60.16. Revenue of R46.3 billion was 41% higher.

Exxaro announced a final cash dividend of R11.36 per share, down 39 cents from the final dividend declared in 2021.

"In spite of the obstacles we have faced this year, Exxaro has once again displayed its agility in navigating through the challenging business operating environment," said Exxaro CEO Nombasa Tsengwa.

Ongoing logistical constraints due to Transnet's rail problems continue to substantially impact Exxaro's ability to export coal, with a year-on-year decline of 32% in its export volumes.

However Tsengwa said Exxaro has prioritised short-term solutions to transport product by pursuing alternative markets and logistical channels. "We are also focused on finding permanent logistical solutions which will de-risk our business from the dependency on Transnet," she said. – Fin24

Santam buys MTN's device book

Africa's largest short-term insurer Santam has agreed to buy MTN South Africa's mobile telecommunication firm’s device insurance book, which has just over 400 000 policies and an annual gross written premium value of almost R400 million.

In March, the Competition Commission approved the acquisition without conditions, Santam said in a statement, with regulatory approvals expected to be completed within the next year.

The acquisition, as well as the alliance, is aimed to support MTN South Africa in broadening the reach of device protection to their clients, in line with the importance of devices in the lives of customers.

Tavaziva Madzinga, the Santam Group CEO, said the acquisition was an opportunity to expand the company’s refreshed strategy which seeks to lay a foundation for future growth through partnerships.

An important focus of the strategy is the building of partnerships across various sectors including telecommunications, among others, while putting clients at the centre, he said. – Fin24

Credit Suisse to borrow billions

Credit Suisse announced yesterday that it would borrow almost US$54 billion (R996 billion) from the Swiss central bank to reinforce the group after a plunge in its share prices.

The disclosure came just hours after the Swiss National Bank said capital and liquidity levels at the lender were adequate for a "systemically important bank", even as it pledged to make liquidity available if needed.

Credit Suisse, hit by a series of scandals in recent years, saw its stock price tumble off a cliff Wednesday after major shareholder Saudi National Bank declined to invest more in the group, citing regulatory constraints.

Its shares fell more than 30% to a record low before regaining ground to end the day 24.24% down, at 1.697 Swiss francs.

Credit Suisse's market value had already taken a heavy blow this week over fears of contagion from the collapse of two US banks, as well as its annual report citing "material weaknesses" in internal controls.

Analysts have warned of mounting concerns over the bank's viability and the impact on the larger banking sector, as shares of other lenders sank on Wednesday after a rebound the day before.

Credit Suisse is one of 30 banks globally deemed too big to fail, forcing it to set aside more cash to weather a crisis. – Fin24/AFP


Allgemeine Zeitung 2023-03-28

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