South Africa's Imperial full-year profit dips on fall in logistics business

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African distribution and transport firm Imperial Holdings reported a 10 percent drop in full-year profit on Tuesday after a fall volumes in its logistics business and domestic vehicle sales.

The group, which generates 57 percent of its revenue in South Africa, said headline earnings per share for the full-year ended June fell to 1,390 cents per share compared to 1,552 cents in 2016.

“Specific uncontrollable factors that affected our South African business were a reduction in logistics volumes and a 7 percent decline in national vehicle sales,” the company said.

Imperial, which sells imported vehicles and runs a car rental agency in South Africa, has sold 42 businesses and 52 properties in a bid to make the firm less vulnerable to swings in the value of its home market’s volatile rand currency.

The firm also works in warehousing and distribution.

South Africa’s economy slipped into recession in the first quarter and unemployment is close to 28 percent, adding to pressure on a government grappling with corruption allegations and credit rating downgrades.

The firm cut its final dividend, down 18 percent to 650 cents per share.

Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Edmund Blair