Drought, the mining commodities rout, the election of Donald Trump and Brexit have all conspired to keep the world economy volatile in the first half of its financial year, says diversified global chemicals group Omnia. This has led to profit for the six months to September plunging 22.1% to R258m, as the group operating margin fell by 1.1% to 5.8%, and headline earnings per share dived 24.9%. Omnia adds that the political landscape in SA has been characterised by corruption, currency volatility and the prospect of sovereign credit downgrades. But CEO Rod Humphris said on Tuesday that it was more a question of one-off costs that hammered the interim results. This included those related to the lengthy shutdown of its second nitric acid plant in Sasolburg, and R35m in losses tied to fertiliser stocks in Australia. "These two [events] had a material impact on the results," he said, adding that they would not be repeated in the second half of the year. Gross profit fell 11% to R1.5bn as...

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