Imperial Logistics S.Africa is researching a plan to exit European business

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African Imperial Logistics Limited said on Tuesday it would explore an exit plan for its international logistics business as part of its strategy to focus on Africa.

The Johannesburg-based freight company is in the midst of a restructuring that includes exiting non-profit contracts and non-core businesses and consolidating operations and assets as part of a profit plan.

“We have concluded that Logistics International is not fundamental to our Gateway to Africa strategy and we will explore an appropriate exit plan for this business,” said CEO Mohammed Akoojee.

He added, given the current macroeconomic uncertainty, it may take time to make progress.

In November, the company said it was exploring all possibilities for its international business, mainly Europe and the United Kingdom. The business is significantly exposed to the automotive and industrial sectors, which have been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Imperial, which has its roots in a car dealership in Johannesburg in the 1940s, reported a drop in total earnings per share (HEPS) of 43% from continuing operations, to 180 cents in the six months ended Dec. 31, from a repeated 315 cents a year earlier.

It also declared a temporary dividend after not declaring a year-round dividend, but cut it in half to 83 cents.

Reporting by Nqobile Dludl; Editing Promit Mukherjee