Metmar earnings rocket

[] — Commodity trader Metmar (MML) on Thursday reported headline earnings per share up 41% to 12.1 cents for the six months ended August 2010, from 8.6 cents previously.

Basic and diluted earnings per share however, declined to 12 cents from 72.6 cents earlier.

Revenue was up 40% to R1.163bn from R829.7m in 2009, while operating profit of was R42.74m from R193.2m previously.

A distribution of 25 cents per share was made in June 2010 in respect of the group’s 2010 financial year, it said.

The decrease in attributable earnings from R143.2m to R24.3m is mainly due to the profit on the disposal of PGR17 Investments, which was included in attributable earnings for the six months ended August 2009, but excluded from headline earnings during that period, Metmar said.

“Metmar has achieved satisfactory results against the backdrop of extended recessionary conditions and the strong performance of the South African rand,” it said.

Looking ahead, the group said that the world economies in general seem to be showing an improving trend with China in particular performing well. There are still questions centred on certain economies and the sustainability of their recovery but the overall picture is that economies have stabilised and appear to have moved to a higher level.

It said that the strengthening rand has adversely impacted on the returns of rand based production units.

“While Metmar is affected due to its bias towards the dollar, our policy of hedging currency risks and the fact that we purchase and sell on a dollar basis, has provided protection to a certain degree. To a limited extent, the strength of the rand has been offset by higher dollar based commodity prices following the weakness of the dollar.

“Metmar has invested in some exciting new projects which should add value in the medium term.

“These improved trading conditions are anticipated to continue for the rest of the year. In addition, some projects will start generating volumes in the next six months,” the group concluded.