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Persisting with its acquisition strategy helped consumer, mining and manufacturing products supplier Hudaco to emerge stronger after 2017’s tough operating environment. CE Graham Dunford said on Friday that if the optimism following Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as ANC president persisted in 2018, it would encourage investment by Hudaco’s key customers, offsetting the effect on its pricing from a stronger rand-dollar rate. An analyst, who asked not to be named, said Hudaco was the perfect "SA Inc" stock. It had weathered difficult circumstances and indications were that it could do well in 2018. The company spent R210m on acquisitions in the year to November yet also repaid R45m of bank borrowings. Turnover rose 6.6% to R5.9bn and headline earnings 2.8% to R12.56 a share. The dividend rose 7% to 560c a share. The shares added 4% to R153 after the results were released, trading close to their recent peak of R154.32. Hudaco’s consumer division contributed 61% of operating profit. Its aut...

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