Barloworld's revenue for the six months to the end of March increased by 4% to R31.9 billion with the bulk of the improvement in Automotive and Logistics which showed an increase of R981 million.
Revenue in Equipment Russia was up by 22% in dollar terms while Equipment Iberia was flat in euro terms.
Rand revenues for both regions further benefited from translation gains. In Equipment southern Africa revenue decreased by R689 million (7%) despite the benefits of the weaker Rand in operations outside South Africa. Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were marginally down to R2978 million with depreciation and amortisation decreasing by 2% as a result of a reduction in depreciation following the rental fleet decrease in Equipment. Operating profit rose by 1% to R1 756 million with the operating margin down slightly to 5.5%.
In Equipment southern Africa, operating profit was down by 15% with reductions in mining capital expenditure and production cutbacks negatively affecting equipment demand. While aftermarket activity was slightly down it remains resilient, somewhat mitigating the impact of declining machine sales. In Equipment Russia trading in the first half was well ahead of the prior period due to higher mining equipment and aftermarket deliveries.
Equipment Iberia has continued its turnaround with current year operating profit well up on last year.
Chief executive Clive Thomson said: "Equipment southern Africa continued to be impacted by a slowdown in mining activity while construction revenues were higher and the aftermarket held up well despite certain customers delaying equipment maintenance. Our Russian equipment business delivered a strong performance and Iberia showed a further year-on-year improvement in profitability despite uncertainty created by the inconclusive election result in Spain.
"The Automotive division delivered a satisfactory performance in a challenging trading environment and Logistics delivered operating profits ahead of last year on the back of organic growth.
"While trading conditions remain challenging in certain of our businesses, the industry and geographic diversity of the group's operations is providing some resilience through the cycle. A number of strategic and operational steps continue to be taken to enhance financial returns and ensure our businesses are well positioned to capitalise on growth opportunities as the cycle turns."
At 8:16am: (LON:BWO) Barloworld share price was 0p at 590p