Containers. Picture: 123RF/MONIKA MYNEK
Containers. Picture: 123RF/MONIKA MYNEK

Freight and financial services company Grindrod raised its total dividend for its year to end-December by almost a third as volumes jumped in its ports and terminals business.

The group paid out R134m in net dividends for the year.

The group declared a total ordinary dividend of 19.2c for the period, up 31.5% from previously, reporting that headline earnings from continuing operations rose 9% to R525m.

Continuing operations excludes discontinued operations, and Grindrod had spun off and separately listed its shipping business in June 2018.

Headline earnings in the group’s ports and terminals business more than doubled to R308.3m, with the group saying that its sea freight business had a strong performance in a challenging market.

Maputo Port in Mozambique handled a record volume of 21-million tonnes in 2019, an 8% growth, the group said, underpinned by increases in chrome, magnetite and container throughput, the group said.

Projects to refurbish berths, enhance terminal and loading capability, and an extend of the chrome and ferrochrome handling area are nearing completion, it said.

In afternoon trade on Wednesday, Grindrod's share price was up 1.84% to R4.43, having fallen 11.93% so far in 2020.

Update: March 4 2020

This article has been updated with share price information.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za