South African logistics company Imperial Holdings reported flat full-year profits on Tuesday as its vehicle import and distribution division suffered from feeble demand and a weakening currency in its home market.
Imperial, which imports auto brands such as Kia and Mitsubishi, said buyers were highly price sensitive in South Africa and were trading down to smaller or pre-owned vehicles, resulting in fierce competition between dealers.
The division accounts for about a quarter of Imperial’s sales, but its 37 percent decline in profit weighed on overall company earnings to leave headline earnings per share (EPS) unchanged at 1,624 cents.
Overall company revenue rose 7 percent to 110.5 billion rand ($8.37 billion). Sales outside South Africa grew 17 percent and profits from its international operation rose 23 percent, the company said.
Headline EPS is the main profit gauge in South Africa and strips out certain one-off items.