LOCAL manufacturer Argent Industrial doubled profit despite a slight drop in revenue for the year to end-March.After-tax profit jumped to R55.7m from the prior year’s R26.9m while revenue fell 5% to R1.7bn.Argent declared a final dividend of 9c, taking its dividend for the year to 18c from the prior year’s 17c.Its steel trading division was helped by import duties introduced in December helping steel prices rise to R8,112.13 a tonne in April from a low of R6,442.13 a tonne in June 2015. The introduction of duties resulted in average steel prices rising 24.1% from January to April, Argent management said in its results statement.This would help its steel trading division in the coming financial year. But for the reporting period, last year’s slump in steel prices cost it R18m.Argent said it was in the process of amalgamating its importing company Specialist Steel Profiles into Gammid Trading. The consolidation will save in the order of R800,000 per year in operating costs and release...

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