NAMPAK, an increasingly pan-African manufacturer of nonperishable packaging for beverages and food, continues to “navigate volatile macroeconomic conditions prevailing in a number of our key markets” in 2015.
In a group strategy and progress update for analysts on Thursday, CEO André de Ruyter and other executives highlighted key strategies for each of the company’s divisions.
“In South Africa we have experienced operational difficulties at our glass and Bevcan Springs factories that we are addressing through targeted operational excellence initiatives,” Mr de Ruyter said.
But he said the group had made “solid progress on stabilising and improving the performance at glass” and also in addressing spoilage at its Bevcan Springs site.
This was expected to strongly boost operational results in financial year 2016 after the group took “decisive” steps to strengthen leadership, refocus its portfolio of products, improve operational efficiencies, and tighten cost and capex controls.
Mr de Ruyter said the group’s strategy implementation was at an advanced stage and benefits were expected to flow through to the bottom line in 2016. Nampak also expected the rest of Africa to generate 50% of trading profit by 2020.
In the group’s half-year results to March, broker Imara SP Reid — since renamed Momentum SP Reid Securities — had cited “local disappointment” for Nampak as opposed to “rest of Africa growth”.
Group operating profit fell 9.2% in the most recent reporting period. This was due to a tough South African trading environment and a poor performance by the glass segment. Headline earnings per share from continuing operations fell 8%.
Nampak had sold its corrugated and tissue division for R1.6bn, effective April 1. It also planned to sell the flexible and recycling divisions.
But trading profit from the rest of Africa was now 38% of group trading profit, rising from 27% last year. But rest of Africa margins fell mainly on local currency devaluations and the inclusion of lower margin business in Zimbabwe.
By Mark Allix
France has launched an offshore green hydrogen production platform at the country’s Port of Saint-Nazaire this week, along with its first offshore wind farm. The hydrogen plant, which its operators say is the world’s first facility of its type, coincides with the launch of another “first of its kind” facility in Sweden dedicated to storing hydrogen in an underground lined rock cavern (LRC).
The project sets up the Hydrogen Valley in Rome, the first industrial-scale technological hub for the development of the national supply chain for the production, transport, storage and use of hydrogen for the decarbonization of industrial processes and for sustainable mobility.
At first glance, hydrogen seems to be the perfect solution to our energy needs. It doesn’t produce any carbon dioxide when used. It can store energy for long periods of time. It doesn’t leave behind hazardous waste materials, like nuclear does. And it doesn’t require large swathes of land to be flooded, like hydroelectricity. Seems too good to be true. So…what’s the catch?