Grindrod released its final results for the year ended 31 December 2018. Renewed focus on Freight Services, following Shipping’s spin-off in June 2018, has yielded positive results. Furthermore, while its repositioning is ongoing, earnings growth generated by Financial Services is pleasing.
Performance from continuing operations – Freight and Financial services
Earnings from continuing operations for the year ended 31 December 2018 are R803.4 million, an increase of 24% compared to earnings of R646.3 million achieved in 2017. Headline earnings from continuing operations are R716.6 million compared to headline earnings of R570.8 million achieved in 2017, a 26% improvement on the prior year.
Port of Maputo achieved record volumes of 19.6 million tonnes, a 7% improvement on the prior year. In 2019 the port expects to increase its volume handling capacity with the completion of the rehabilitation works of berths 6, 7, 8 and 9. The rehabilitation will not only create berths with a depth of up to -15 metres but will improve the occupancy rate of the berths by creating a larger mooring area. The completion of the works is scheduled for January 2020. The Port recently acquired 2 mobile harbour cranes and ancillary equipment to improve efficiencies.
Also noted is the good dry-bulk terminal utilisation with a marked improvement in volumes handled during the second half of 2018. In the month of December 2018, Terminal de Carvão da Matola Lda (TCM) reported a new loading record for the terminal since its inception of 580 214 tonnes. The record loading rates, noting some quay dry time, show consistency to load at a rate in excess of 7 million tons per annum, confirming the Terminal’s name plate capacity.
TCM’s boom extension project which commenced in January 2019 on Ship loader 1, will allow better utilisation of the ship loader and allow the use of both ship loaders improving vessel turnaround time. During the first quarter of 2019, TCM will also be commissioning Stacker Reclaimer 3 that is under rebuild. This will increase receiving and shipping capacity in line with the terminal’s current growth strategy.
The Logistics Division expanded its footprint with the completion of the 60 000m² cross-docking facility in Nacala in 2018. It is expected that at full production the Nacala facility will be containerising 30 000 tonnes of bagged graphite each month. The auto carrier business acquired 27 hectares of land adjacent to the N3 highway from Gauteng to Durban for the development of a vehicle storage facility. The acquisition and integration of the NovaGroup, strengthened the division’s position in the niche marine technical market and in container storage.
The Agri businesses benefitted from the improved yields and the higher carry-over stock volumes ensuring good handling and storage income.
In summary, the Freight Services division will continue to develop its facilities to enhance capacity and service offerings. The buoyant minerals market is expected to boost African trade, positively impacting the operations.
The Financial Services division reported solid results with an increase in earnings over the same period in the prior year. Core deposits (excluding retail) increased by 14% to R8.9 billion compared to R7.8 billion in 2017. Advances grew by 8% to R7.8 billion compared to R7.2 billion in 2017.
Strong performance of the UK Property Portfolio was reported. The first phase of investments have been realised and re-investment will occur on a selective basis. Grindrod remains committed to providing the support required during the final phase in the transition of the SASSA bank accounts and distribution of payments.
Said Andrew Waller, Grindrod Limited CEO, “Grindrod Freight Services’ focus is on unlocking trade corridors. We will therefore continue to invest in strategic assets, enabling efficient logistics chains at competitive prices and overall improving Africa’s global competitiveness. The Financial Services business is focused on continued steady growth, developing a new retail business and increasing its focus on small and medium enterprises in South Africa.”