S.Africa's Imperial Logistics explores exit plan of European business

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s Imperial Logistics Limited said on Tuesday it will explore an exit plan for its international logistics business as part of its strategy to focus on Africa.

The Johannesburg-based freight company is in the middle of a restructuring that includes exiting unprofitable contracts and non-core businesses and consolidating operations and properties as part of its plan to drive profits.

“We have concluded that Logistics International is non-core to our ‘Gateway to Africa’ strategy and we will explore an appropriate exit plan for this business,” Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Akoojee said.

He added given the current macro-economic uncertainty, this may take time to progress.

In November the company had said it was exploring all options for its international business, which is mainly Europe and the United Kingdom. The business has significant exposure to the automotive and industrial sectors, both of which have been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Imperial, which traces its roots to a single car showroom in Johannesburg in the 1940s, reported a 43% decline in headline earnings per share (HEPS) from continuing operations, down to 180 cents in the six months ended Dec.31, from a restated 315 cents a year earlier.

It also declared an interim dividend after not declaring a full-year dividend but slashed it by half to 83 cents.

Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Promit Mukherjee