Argent Industrial, a diverse steel beneficiation group with international brands, saw headline earnings per share soar 26.8% in the six months to September as revenue rose 10.9% to R940m. The group says it has had a "successful interim period despite a difficult South African economy". It is focusing on its brands domestically and internationally. These include Jetmaster heating products and Xpanda security products. Argent said its manufacturing division performed well relative to the South African economy. This was enhanced by the group’s acquisition of OSA Door Parts, a manufacturer and supplier of industrial insulated warehouse doors. "The group incurred foreign exchange losses of R3.2m due to the drop in the exchange rate …. this is expected to reverse in the next six months," it said on Thursday. All five of the group’s steel operations traded positively, and the focus was on reducing operating costs further and improving returns.

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