The Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s Top 40 index lost 0.47% to 60,808 points on Friday and the broader All-Share index fell 0.44% to 67,465 points. Mining stocks were the biggest losers in the blue-chip index as gold prices fell to more than a one-week low and platinum and palladium prices also suffered. Foschini Group shares closed 1.73% higher after the retailer returned to first-half profit. Local markets were closed yesterday.
The rand posted a heavy weekly loss of almost 3% on Friday, driven by severe power outages, uncertainty ahead of next week’s local elections and investor selling of riskier assets. Over the week, the rand lost 2.71% against the dollar. After local markets closed yesterday, the rand ended the session at R15.41 to the dollar, or 1.06% weaker. Troubled state-owned power utility Eskom has been experiencing daily power cuts over the past week due to faults at its ageing coal-fired power stations.
Gold prices slipped this morning as a firmer dollar made the precious metal less attractive to holders of other currencies, while investors looked ahead to the US Federal Reserve’s crucial policy meeting amid growing concerns about persistent inflation. Meanwhile, oil prices rose this morning as the top producer group OPEC failed to meet expected output increases last month, while the world’s largest oil consumer China increased output to meet rising diesel demand.
Transnet’s record R8.4bn loss for Covid-plagued financial year
Covid-19 has dealt a massive financial blow to state-owned port and rail logistics group Transnet. The company on Friday reported a record net loss of R8.4 billion for its financial year to the end of March 2021, compared to a profit of R2.9 billion in the previous financial year (FY2020).
The group reported a 10.5% drop in revenue to R67.3 billion, while Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) slumped almost 43% to R19.5 billion after the group’s Ebitda margin fell to 28.9%. Transnet CEO Portia Derby reiterated the group’s statement on the Sens results, saying the outcome reflected “the economic circumstances” the company faced, mainly due to the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic and related lockouts.
THE FOSCHINI GROUP LIMITED – Trading Update
Solid performance in Q2 FY2022 with Group retail sales growth of 18.0% compared to Q2 FY2021, notwithstanding the impact of civil unrest in South Africa and government imposed lockdowns in Australia. Robust performance of TFG Africa in Q2 FY2022 with retail sales growth of 28.0% compared to Q2 FY2021. Cash retail sales growth for TFG Africa in Q2 FY2022 of 37.1% compared to Q2 FY2021.
Cash retail sales now contribute 69.9% to TFG Africa’s total retail sales and 79.1% to the Group’s total retail sales. Continued market share gains in the men’s and women’s categories according to the Retail Liaison Committee (4.8% increase in market share for H1 FY2022 compared to H1 FY2021).