StockMarketWire.com - Barloworld said Monday pre-tax rose by a fifth as strong growth in Russia and a turnaround of its logistics business helped offset a difficult trading and economic environment.

For the year ended 30 September, pre-tax profit rose 19.6% to R2.99bn, and revenue rose 2.3% to R63.42bn.

The performance was also lifted by the sale of Iberia for R2.5bn.

The uptick in profits emerged even as emerging market economies came under pressure due to rising US interest rates, the stronger US Dollar and the flow of capital out of these economies, the company said.

Headline earnings per share from continuing operations was up by 18% to 1 151 cents, and the total dividend a share of 462 cents was up 18%, the company said.

In a separate statement, the company proposed to create a long-term broad-based Black Economic Empowerment transaction funded by 3% of Barloworld to 'focus on poverty alleviation, education and youth development in South Africa.

The company confirmed it had entered into an agreement to sell a portion of Barloworld's South African property portfolio to Propco for R2.755bn to facilitate the transaction. 'The group produced a strong result in the reporting period, despite a difficult trading and economic environment. The solid performance was particularly due to robust earnings growth in Equipment Russia, the turnaround of the Logistics business and the strong associate income from the Bartrac JV in the Katanga region of the DRC. Equipment southern Africa and Automotive performances were satisfactory in a challenging economic cycle,' said Dominic Sewela, CE of Barloworld. 'The group will continue to focus on driving our businesses to their full potential through the optimal allocationof capital and the execution of our medium-term strategy; this sets a strong foundation for the pursuit of value-enhancing acquisitive growth opportunities that fit our capabilities and the optimisation of the group's capital structure.'



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