A MAN trucks with its branded Imperial Cargo trailer.
A MAN trucks with its branded Imperial Cargo trailer.

Transport and logistics group Imperial on Tuesday reported a 27% rise in headline earnings per share to R15.70 in the year to end-June, which was at the upper end of its recent guidance.

Imperial, which is preparing to separately list its vehicle businesses in the fourth quarter, benefited from dramatically smaller forex losses and lower finance costs.

Foreign exchange losses decreased by R526m to R93m, as the company unwound an unfavourable forward cover position, Imperial said in its results statement on Tuesday.

Foreign exchange losses at Imperial Logistics dropped to R50m from R194m, while at Motus, the vehicle business, forex losses narrowed to R43m R425m, which Imperial said was mainly due to the unwinding of "excessive and uneconomical forward cover in Renault".

Group revenue was up 11% to a record R128.7bn, of which about 45% was made outside SA. Group operating profit rose 6% to R6.4bn.

Net finance costs fell to R1.4bn from R1.7bn in full-year 2017.

Motus revenue increased 17% to R77.65bn and operating profit rose 9% to R3.59bn. Motus pretax profit rose 64%, boosted by the reduction in forex losses.

Imperial Logistics revenue was up 3% to R51.4bn and operating profit rose by the same margin, to R2.85bn. Profit before tax rose 26% as foreign exchange losses, mainly in African regions, dropped.

The company declared a final dividend of R3.87 per share, bringing the total to R7.18, which was up 9% on the year-ago period.

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