‘Cautious’ outlook for profitable Afrox


African Oxygen Limited (Afrox), a member of The Linde Group, has released its half year financial results ended 30th June 2009, noting a ramp up in cost-containment to counter weak demand.
The company reported revenues of R2.4bn, with operating profits of R280m for the first six months of 2009. Net profit for the period was R120m, with earnings per share 39.1 cents.

Compared to the same period in 2008, revenue is down 11%, EBITDA by 25% and operating profit by 37%, with net profits down 57%.

The balance sheet remains strong with gearing improved to 27.1%. Capex was curtailed to R115m in the period. Net borrowings decreased by R297m to R1236m as a result of increased focus on working capital. Interest paid cover on EBITDA was 3.9 times (2008: 7.2 times).

Afrox said cost containment is a key focus, with positive results expected to work through in the second half of 2009.

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