Metair says headline earnings per share should soar as much as 25% in the year to December 2017 with the group’s automotive component operations recovering after a difficult 2016. The business had returned to "satisfactory profitability" after disruptions from a new vehicle launch. Meanwhile, automotive business margins of 7%-9% were higher than the revised medium-term guidance given in December 2017, due largely to nonrecurring items. "Trading for the period … sustained the progressive improvement in performance from the second half of 2016 [for the business]," the company said on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Metair’s battery business had a strong finish to the year. The group has big battery-manufacturing operations in SA, Turkey and Romania, including for vehicles, mining, industrial, railway and renewable energy applications. The Turkish battery business again experienced record production output for the year on "excellent" fourth-quarter demand. But the "exceptional operating performanc...

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