Mpact shares fell up to 5% on Monday after the company released a trading update in which it said it expected headline earnings per share (HEPS) in the year to December to drop at least 30%, year on year.

The packaging group, which was unbundled from Mondi in 2011, said lower containerboard sales, higher tax rates and finance costs and a loss in Mpact Polymers weighed on the financial performance.

Mpact had 42 operating sites as of June, of which 22 were manufacturing operations in SA, Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

SA-based customers accounted for about 90% of the company’s sales while the balance came predominantly from customers on the rest of the continent.

"The group has initiated the closure of its plastics manufacturing operation in Zimbabwe. It is anticipated that the charge … relating to the closure will be an after-tax amount of approximately R40m," it said.

The small-cap stock was off 4.28% to R30.63 in mid-afternoon trade, valuing the company at about R5.16bn.

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