Building materials supplier Afrimat on Thursday reported a 9% drop in first-half headline earnings per share (HEPS) to 94c, which was in the middle of its guidance. The company said its construction materials cluster felt the effect of the slowdown in economic activity in the six months to end-August, with KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng hit the hardest. However, bulk commodities and industrial minerals provided a cushion, as they both fared better during the review period, save for Lyttelton dolomite mine that was affected by the slowdown in the construction sector.

The group is hoping to benefit from the recovery plan and economic stimulus announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa a few weeks ago. “The R400bn Infrastructure Fund should knock loose some activity and we are beginning to see small nuggets of growth starting to show in certain segments,” said CEO Andries van Heerden. Group revenue rose 28.6% to R1.5bn, but operating profit rose a modest 4.3% to R202.7m. Net profit slippe...

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