Hulamin suffers from US trade, foreign exchange headwinds

JSE-listed aluminum producer Hulamin has reported a 77% decline in headline earnings per share for the six months ended June 30

JSE-listed aluminum producer, Hulamin, on Monday reported a 77% decline in headline earnings per share for the six months ended June 30, down to 13 cents per share as the rand was stronger against the dollar in the reporting period. The group does not pay an interim dividend.

 

The local manufacturer said that volatility in its markets was largely driven by socio-political changes in South Africa and by US government intervention in metal markets globally, especially the duty on steel and aluminum imports imposed by the Trump administration.

 

Richard Jacob (pictured), Hulamin's CEO, said the US steel and aluminum duties heavily affected their business. 

"Uncertainty around vacillating US trade actions affected our products directly. As a result of the duties now in place, imports into the USA have been significantly curtailed, particularly from China," Jacob said.

 

"This has resulted in a supply shortage and has allowed us to raise prices in the USA. We can also report ongoing cost savings in Hulamin Rolled Products and a very strong safety performance during the period."

 

Pietermaritzburg-headquartered Hulamin is a leading, focused, mid-stream aluminium semi-fabricator. It purchases primary aluminium and supplies its range of high value, niche rolled products and complex extrusions to manufacturers of finished products in South Africa and over 50 countries around the world.

 

Operationally, Hulamin’s team continued to improve efficiencies, reduce unit costs (down 2% in real terms) and improve working capital management. New chairman Thabo Leeuw and Jacob, who has spent nine years at the helm, are both optimistic Hulamin’s profits will improve in the second half. The “positive operational momentum” is expected to continue and order books are firm.

 

Hulamin’s finances are overseen by Anton Krull. Prior to rejoining Hulamin in May 2016, Anton served briefly as Finance Director of the local operation of Amcor, a global listed packaging company. He previously served in senior financial positions within Hulamin for a period of seven years from 2008, most recently as General Manager: Group Finance. Anton has also enjoyed tenures at Spar Group, Arthur Andersen and EY.