JSE-listed Imperial Logistics said on Thursday that it expected to report a huge drop in earnings for the six months to December 2019.

Imperial said total headline earnings per share (Heps), which include discontinued operations, was expected to be between 210c and 236c, a 92% to 93% decrease from 2,978c per share recorded in the previous matching period.

The company expects total earnings per share (EPS) to fall to between 176c and 202c per share, from 836c in the previous period, a 76% to 79% fall.

Imperial's share price fell on the news and was 5.13% lower in late afternoon trade on Thursday at R49.54.

Imperial said the fall in earnings was a result of the unbundling of Motus in November 2018, which contributed 2,687c of EPS and 539 of Heps in the prior period, as well as trading losses incurred in its consumer package goods business in the current six months.

Without the effects of Motus and consumer packages goods, the logistics operator said it expects Heps from continuing operations to be between 364c and 377c, a 8% to 12% rise from 337c per share in the previous comparable period.  

The company said increases in earnings are in line with growth in its operating profit, which benefited from factors such as some one-off trading costs that were recorded in the prior period not recurring in the current six months.