Barloworld took a R1bn foreign exchange hit in the interim period to March 2018, but much better global mining conditions and record operating profit for its automotive business helped fend off the dire SA economy. However, Mark Hodgson, an analyst at Avior Capital Markets, said on Monday that rand strength was “not that serious, especially given recent weakening in the rand that will partly offset this impact”. The group was fixing its logistics business, where in which a loss of contracts, poor acquisitions and exposure to drought-damaged South African sugar volumes had translated into a low-margin business with "too high a cost structure", he said. "Hence very poor returns on capital and management trying to fix the business before they decide whether to sell or retain it," Hodgson said. Barloworld held up its Russian equipment business as the yardstick for returns as global mining markets continued to improve. Russian revenues and operating profit were up 77% and 27%, respective...

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