Bell to beef up its far-flung operations
Bell will continue with the expansion of its German factory and production in Richards Bay
Bell Equipment will ramp up its aftermarket sales and support and prioritise the appointment of dealers in countries where it is not well represented in a bid to strengthen its operations.
Bell makes heavy vehicles used in agriculture, forestry, waste handling, construction and mining.
It will also continue with the expansion of its German factory and the Richards Bay production of a new range of trucks.
Bell reported a 78% jump in headline earnings per share for the half-year to June to 119c. Revenue rose 11%, to R3.4bn. The group said trading conditions in most of its global markets over the period had improved over the previous period.
The growth outlook for the mining sector and commodity markets in SA, Australia and Russia was positive with a "slow recovery evident". However, the stronger rand in the first half of 2017 had affected turnover and margins in its domestic and export sales. Increased costs from essential product upgrades had proved difficult to pass on to the market due to competitive pressure, it said.
"The UK and US remain key markets with relatively stable sales, given the significant political changes and resultant uncertainty over the period," the company said.
Opportune Investments CEO Chris Logan said the US market, which Bell recently entered, had huge opportunities, driven by the construction industry. "The market is not cyclical, there is steady demand," he said.