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A E C I LIMITED - Summarised unaudited financial results and cash dividend declaration for the half year ended 30 June 2020

Release Date: 29/07/2020 07:05
Code(s): AFE AECI02 AECI01 AECI03 AECI04 AFEP     PDF:  
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Summarised unaudited financial results and cash dividend declaration for the half year ended 30 June 2020

(Incorporated in the Republic of South Africa) 
Registration number 1924/002590/06
Tax reference number 9000008608
Share code: AFE
ISIN: ZAE000000220
Hybrid code: AFEP 
ISIN: ZAE000000238
Bond company code: AECI 
LEI: 3789008641F1D3D90E85
('AECI' or 'the Company' or 'the Group')

Summarised unaudited consolidated interim financial 

results and cash dividend declaration

for the half-year ended 30 June 2020


-6% to R11 265m

Foreign and export revenue: 48% of total revenue


-18% to R1 111m

Profit from operations

-32% to R558m


-34% to 240c



(FY19: 36%)

Interim dividend of 100c declared 

deferred final dividend

for '19 to be paid in '20

Safety performance

TRIR of 0,36

Improvement trend sustained


Level 2

B-BBEE contributor status

GCR rating maintained


with stable outlook


It is with great sadness that the Board and management report that we 

have lost three colleagues in South Africa to the coronavirus to date. 

We extend our sincere condolences to their families, friends and fellow 

team members.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on every aspect of daily 

life in countries across the world. The Board and management take this 

opportunity to thank all AECI's stakeholders for their support during 

this exceptionally challenging time. In particular, we wish to express 

our gratitude to our 7 600 employees in all 26 countries where the Group 

operates. Their continued efforts and diligence have been exemplary.

A comprehensive AECI COVID-19 Response Plan was developed in March 2020 

and has been updated regularly to reflect the changing circumstances and 

requirements through the pandemic. Employees' health and movement are 

tracked and monitored daily in line with this plan.

More than 90% of all employees are performing their duties at this time. 

A total of 183 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 to date, with 

89 of them having fully recovered. 90 positive cases are being actively 

tracked and one employee is receiving treatment in hospital.

The Group leadership's focus since March this year has been on navigating 

the business through the effects of the pandemic. To this end, a COVID-19 

Task Team was established with the strategic intent of minimising impact 

on our people, on our operations and safeguarding the supply of essential 

services to customers.

In addition to implementation of the AECI COVID-19 Response Plan, which is 

available at, operational business 

continuity management plans have been adapted and applied in line with the 

Company's overall risk management framework. These measures have enabled 

continuity in operations and in the delivery of products and services to 


Business in South Africa, which accounts for the greatest portion of the 

Group's activities and where the highest number of employees are based, was 

the most severely affected in the reporting period. Certain businesses were 

deemed essential under national Alert Level 5 restrictions ('hard lockdown') 

declared by the South African government on 23 March 2020. Essential 

services included:

* the supply of products and services to the coal mining sector initially, 

  and subsequently to the surface mining sector as a whole

* chemicals for the treatment of potable water, in particular

* raw materials for the manufacture of personal care and home care products

* inputs for the food industry, and

* agrochemicals and related services for the farming sector.

The effects on other sectors in which the Group's customers operate were 

significant. Key among them were mining, infrastructure and the balance of 

manufacturing-related industries.

Although most sectors resumed operations as lockdown restrictions eased, 

market demand has remained depressed and the operating environment has yet 

to normalise.

The net asset value per share attributable to ordinary shareholders 

increased by 17% (from 8 994 cents in 2019 to 10 537 cents) and basic 

earnings per share decreased by 33% (from 367 cents in 2019 to 245 cents 

in 2020). 

Financial performance 

Revenue of R11 265 million was 6% lower (2019: R11 972 million), with 

declines recorded in all segments other than Plant & Animal Health. Of 

the total revenue, 48% was generated outside of South Africa and mostly 

in US dollars and Euros. The weaker rand exchange rate against these major 

currencies thus curbed the revenue decline.

EBITDA of R1 111 million was 18% lower than 2019's R1 361 million. The 

profit on disposal of the Group's paper chemicals business unit contributed 

R108 million to EBITDA.

Profit from operations in the half-year was 32% lower at R558 million 

(2019: R826 million). In addition to COVID-19, R64 million in retrenchment 

costs associated with restructuring of the Food & Beverage and Chemicals 

segments contributed to the year-on-year decrease. Impairments of R69 million 

were recognised. The Group's exit from its sauces business and closure of 

Industrial Oleochemical Products' tall oil distillation operations accounted 

for the majority of this amount. Annualised benefits of at least R100 million 

are anticipated from restructuring.

It was pleasing to note that in the first quarter of the year profit from 

operations (before taking into account any restructuring costs) had improved 

by more than 20% on the corresponding period in the prior year. In the second 

quarter, however, the effects of the pandemic on markets and performance were 


The benefits of the strategic realignment projects undertaken in the prior year 

in the Explosives and Water & Process businesses were in line with expectations 

overall, albeit that the Explosives business was challenged by lower sales of 

initiating systems to underground mining customers as their operations were 

limited by lockdown due to COVID-19.

Financial impact of COVID-19

Each Group business estimated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on revenue,

volumes and costs as accurately as it was possible to do so from March 2020 

onwards. The Mining Solutions segment and Much Asphalt were the most seriously 


In South Africa, most mines were not operational in terms of hard lockdown 

restrictions. When the resumption of some activity was permitted, operations 

resumed slowly and their consistency was hampered by, inter alia, actions 

required to manage new cases of infection as they were confirmed.

Much Asphalt's customers serve mainly the road infrastructure sector. This 

sector was not deemed essential under Alert Level 5 and, consequently, Much 

Asphalt did not trade from 27 March and throughout April. The business 

resumed operations in the first week of May, with market demand returning 

slowly since then.

Conversely, the pandemic presented opportunities for ChemSystems, in the 

Chemicals segment, and Schirm in Germany. Both businesses entered the hand 

sanitiser and disinfectants markets to good effect and both are expected to 

continue to sustain sales in these markets for the duration of the pandemic 

and beyond.

Reported HEPS of 240 cents was 34% lower year-on-year (2019: 365 cents). 

Headline earnings decreased to R254 million from 2019's R385 million.

The estimated negative impact on the Group's performance in the half-year,

was as follows:

* revenue                                   R1 015 million

* profit from operations                    R454 million

* headline earnings per share ('HEPS')      294 cents

Having considered that the Company managed its cash resources very well in 

the period and that it remains in a solid financial position, 

notwithstanding the uncertainty and negative effects resulting from the 

COVID-19 pandemic, the Board decided to declare an interim cash dividend 

of 100 cents (2019: 156 cents).

It is intended that the deferred final cash dividend of 414 cents (No. 

172) declared for the 2019 financial year be paid before the end of 2020. 

The record date for this dividend was 3 April 2020 and the payment date 

was 6 April 2020. The Board would prefer to retain this original Corporate 

Action Timetable and, accordingly, the Company has approached the 

Companies Tribunal for an exemption in this regard. The date of payment of 

the deferred dividend will be finalised once the Companies Tribunal's 

decision has been received.


Allen Morgan retired from the AECI Board at the Annual General Meeting 

of the Company's shareholders held on 26 May 2020. He had served as an 

Independent Non-executive Director since 2010. The Board thanks Allen 

most sincerely for his valued input during his almost 10-year tenure. 

On 1 June 2020 Marna Roets was appointed as an Independent Non-executive 

Director of the Company. She also joined the Audit Committee and the 

Remuneration Committee on that date. The Board welcomes her and looks 

forward to her contribution.


Declaration of interim ordinary cash dividend no. 173

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that on Tuesday, 28 July 2020, the Directors 

of AECI declared a gross interim cash dividend of 100 cents per share, 

in respect of the six-month period ended 30 June 2020. The dividend is 

payable on Monday, 7 September 2020 to holders of ordinary shares 

recorded in the register of the Company at the close of business on 

the record date, being Friday, 4 September 2020.

A South African dividend withholding tax of 20% will be applicable 

to all shareholders who are not either exempt or entitled to a 

reduction of the withholding tax rate in terms of a relevant Double 

Taxation Agreement, resulting in a net dividend of 80 cents per share 

to those shareholders who are not eligible for exemption or reduction. 

Application forms for exemption or reduction may be obtained from the 

Transfer Secretaries and must be returned to them on or before Tuesday, 

1 September 2020.

The issued share capital at the declaration date is 109 944 384 

listed ordinary shares, 10 117 951 unlisted redeemable convertible 

B ordinary shares and 3 000 000 listed cumulative preference shares. 

The dividend has been declared from the income reserves of the 


Any change of address or dividend instruction must be received on 

or before Tuesday, 1 September 2020.

The salient dates for the dividend will be as follows:

Last day to trade cum dividend         Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Ex dividend trade                      Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Record date                            Friday, 4 September 2020

Payment date                           Monday, 7 September 2020

Share certificates may not be dematerialised or rematerialised from 

Wednesday, 2 September 2020 to Friday, 4 September 2020, both days 


By order of the Board

EN Rapoo

Group Company Secretary

Woodmead, Sandton

29 July 2020

The full long-form announcement is available for inspection:


The contents of this short-form announcement are the responsibility 

of the Board of Directors of AECI. This short-form announcement is 

only a summary of the information in the full announcement and does 

not contain full or complete details. Any investment decisions made 

by investors and/or shareholders and/or noteholders should be based 

on consideration of the full announcement as a whole. Investors, 

shareholders and noteholders are encouraged to review the full 

announcement which is available on SENS and on AECI's website. The 

full announcement is available for inspection at the registered office 

of AECI, at no charge, during normal business hours from 29 July 2020. 

Copies of the full announcement, at no charge, can also be requested 

by contacting the Group Company Secretary: EN Rapoo, Private Bag X21, 

Gallo Manor, 2052, or

Registered office

First floor, AECI Place, 24 The Woodlands, Woodlands Drive, Woodmead, Sandton

Share transfer secretaries

Computershare Investor Services Proprietary Limited, Rosebank Towers, 

15 Biermann Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg, 2196

Computershare Investor Services plc, PO Box 82, The Pavilions, Bridgwater

Road, Bristol BS99 7NH, England


Rand Merchant Bank (a division of FirstRand Bank Limited), 1 Merchant Place,

cnr Fredman Drive and Rivonia Road, Sandton, 2196


K D K Mokhele (Chairman), S A Dawson*, F F T De Buck, W H Dissinger**, 

M A Dytor (Chief Executive), G Gomwe***, K M Kathan (Executive), J Molapo,

R Ramashia, A M Roets, P G Sibiya 

* Australian  ** German  *** Zimbabwean


Date: 29-07-2020 07:05:00
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