Hudaco shares rallied nearly 8% in early trade on Friday, after the company posted an improvement in its financial performance and gave an upbeat assessment on its near-term outlook. The small-cap company specialises in the importation and distribution of branded automotive, industrial and electrical consumable products, mainly in Southern Africa. Headline earnings per share rose 5% to R12.22 in the year to November, from the year-earlier period, which was off the revenue of R5.5bn. The consumer-related production division, which houses nine businesses, contributed 51% of sales and 61% of operating profit. The engineering consumables division comprises 20 businesses and accounted for other 49% of sales and 39% of operating profit. "This is a pleasing result given a decline of almost 20% at mid-year and the fact that there was neither a large communication contract nor a load-shedding boost in 2016," the company said in a statement. The company said there were notable improvements in...

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