Company news in brief

01 July 2020 | Business

Barloworld sees drop in H1 earnings

South Africa's Barloworld Ltd, said yesterday its interim earnings would fall by 32%, weighed down by constrained consumer demand and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic across its markets.

Normalised headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months ended March 31 were 354.0 cents per share compared with 521.4 cents during the same period a year ago. HEPS strips out once-off items and is the main profit measure used in South Africa.

Barloworld, which sells construction, mining and industrial machinery and also has a car sales and rental business, said that low business confidence and weak consumer demand in 2019 continued into the first part of the financial year.

The company said trade restrictions, lockdowns, travel and restrictions due to the pandemic further impacted trading from March.

"During this period, the Group produced a result that reflected the difficult trading environment and the challenges faced by our businesses," Barloworld chief executive officer Dominic Sewela said in a statement.

Revenue for the period is expected to decline by 12% to R25.2 billion. – Nampa/Reuters

Shell to take up to US$22 bn writedown

Royal Dutch Shell yesterday said it will write down the value of its assets by up to US$22 billion after lowering its long-term outlook on oil and gas prices.

The move is part of the Anglo-Dutch company's wide review of operations after CEO Ben van Beurden in April laid out plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

Shell, whose current market capitalisation is US$126.5 billion according to Refinitiv data, said it will take an aggregate post-tax impairment charge in the range of US$15 to US$22 billion in the second quarter.

The world's largest fuel retailer also said it expected a 40% fall in fuel sales in the second quarter due to a sharp fall in consumption as a result of coronavirus-related travel restrictions around the world.

Upstream oil and gas production is expected to average 2.35 million bpd in the second quarter, down from 2.71 million bpd in the previous quarter.

Shell's writedown mirrors rival BP's move to take up to US$17.5 billion off the value of its assets as it prepares to shift to low-carbon energy. – Nampa/Reuters

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