Specialist financial services group Peregrine says a strong rand took the shine off its earnings in the year to end-March. The group also announced the sale of its share of Peregrine Securities, which it hopes will lead to improved return on equity and higher dividend payout ratios. The rand traded at R13 to the dollar on average over the period, from R14.05 in the previous year, and at R17.22 to the pound, from R18.41. This affected translated earnings, Peregrine said in its results statement on Wednesday morning. "Almost every business in the group benefits from a weaker rand, with 42% of the group’s operating earnings emanating directly from offshore entities in the period under review," CEO Robert Katz said in the statement. Group headline earnings rose 6% to R504m and headline earnings per ordinary share 4% to 238.5c.

Adjusting for the effect of the stronger rand, headline earnings at an attributable operating level would have grown by 13%, according to Katz. Citadel, Ste...

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