Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Packaging specialist Transpaco, one of the best dividend payers on the JSE, has slashed its final payout by more than a quarter to 72c per share with the bottom line buckling under selling price deflation, reduced customer spend and softer demand for recycled material.

The year-to-end June figures released on Wednesday showed a full-year dividend of 120c per share compared with the 150c per share paid in the previous year.

The full-year payout was covered about 2.2 times, which is similar to that of the previous financial year.

In spite of tougher trading conditions, revenue slipped only 5% to R1.635bn. But margins were squeezed to 7.4% (9.1%), leaving operating profit down 22.5% at R122m.

CEO Phillip Abelheim said turnover and operating profits fell in the plastics and paper and board divisions. But an aggressive focus on marketing and sales strategies would be key factors in the prevailing economic environment.

A breakdown showed turnover from plastics down to R1.17bn (previously R1.23bn) with operating profits falling almost 30%, to R71m. Revenue fell to R467m (R481m) in the paper and board unit, with operating profit down 20% to R41m.

During the year, the Mpumalanga production facilities in the recycling and flexible operations were consolidated into the recycling factory in Elandsfontein and the flexible facility in the Western Cape, Abelheim said.

Although profit was down, cash generated from operations rose to R204m (previously R139m). The company has cash on hand of almost R100m.

Transpaco would continue targeting organic growth while maintaining strict financial control, Abelheim said. However, the company would pursue appropriate acquisitions.

hasenfussm@fm.co.za

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