Afx - African Oxygen Limited - Results Of Annual General Meeting Release Date: 09/05/2008 11:43:01 Code(s): AFX
AFX - African Oxygen Limited - Results Of Annual General Meeting
African Oxygen Limited
(Incorporated in the Republic of South Africa)
(Registration number 1927/000089/06)
JSE code: AFX
NSX code: AOX
("Afrox" or "the company")
RESULTS OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The board of directors advise that, at the Annual General Meeting of
shareholders held at the registered offices of the company today, all the
ordinary resolutions as set out in the notice of Annual General Meeting
contained in the company`s 2007 Annual Financial Statements, were duly passed by
the requisite majority votes.
The special resolution granting a general mandate to the directors to conduct
share buy-backs at the appropriate time and within prescribed limits was
similarly adopted, and is in the process of being submitted to the Registrar of
At the meeting, Tjaart Kruger addressed shareholders as follows:
"Capex programme pays off
Afrox`s ability to supply customers reliably and on time will be significantly
improved as 2008 continues to unfold.
To this end the company has commissioned a 100-ton per day ASU at Lydenburg and
upgraded plants at Wadeville and Richards Bay, totalling 215-tons per day. It
has also upgraded its Pietermartzburg plant to produce 95-tons per day liquid
nitrogen for the merchant market.
Our one billion rand capital expenditure of 2007 has been invested in facilities
that will underpin our strategy and restore Afrox`s core strengths.
2008 will see the commissioning of the last major projects; namely a 100-ton per
day ASU and 150-ton per day liquid nitrogen unit at Kuilsriver. In Sasolburg,
there is our 250-ton per day CO2 plant; and importantly, our state-of-the-art
cylinder-filling hub in Germiston and MIG-wire plant at Brits will also be
operating to capacity.
Commenting on the first quarter of 2008, trading conditions had been tough,
mainly as a result of load shedding, which has impacted on customers, coupled to
a worsening economic climate.
However, as indicated last year, we expect the second half of 2008 should see
improved trading conditions; our delivery capabilities enhanced, improved
customer services and, in general, a more settled and focused organisation.
Afrox had been struggling with capacity constraints across the board, resulting
in an inability to meet demand and in poor service delivery.
Nevertheless, operational results for 15-month period ending December 2007 were
good. Core headline earnings per share were 19% higher than the equivalent prior
period at 217.5 cents per share and 19% higher at 176.8 cents per share on a 12-
Operating cash flow was a robust R1.3 billion but in turn there were high
demands on cash flow, not least R1 billion in capex, and a special dividend of
R185 million to shareholders.
Particularly good growth was seen in CO2 with volumes up 12%; Healthcare up 6%
and LPG volumes up 4%.
Afrox`s African operations are now in excess of 15% of group operating profit.
Capacity enhancements in South Africa will ensure reliability of product into
sub-Saharan markets and places Afrox in a strong position.
Afrox ended the year with borrowings of R1 billion, a satisfactory 26% gearing
and interest cover of 10 times.
To re-establish a high performance, customer-orientated company we have
redefined the strategy; changed the operating model to create focus,
accountability and the culture to deliver.
We have introduced new, skilled, people and redeployed existing capabilities and
we have ensured these are all in place as we near completion of the capital
expansion programme. We are now well positioned to compete, to deliver
sustainable, superior results and restore Afrox`s core strength - that of being
9 May 2008
Barnard Jacobs Mellet Corporate Finance (Pty) Ltd
Date: 09/05/2008 11:43:01 Supplied by www.sharenet.co.za
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