September 12, 2017 / 8:42 AM / 10 months ago

South Africa's Clover profit falls on drought, rand

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 12 (Reuters) - South African dairy company Clover Industries annual earnings fell 66 percent, hit by a drought and rand volatility, it said on Tuesday.

Diluted headline earnings per share, the main profit measure in South Africa which strips out certain one-off items, fell to 63.2 cents per share for the year ended 30 June 2017 compared with 184.7 cents per share for the same period last year.

This was in line with what the company previously flagged to the market.

Clover said earnings were hit by rand volatility and the impact of a severe drought that triggered a record slaughter of cattle, lifting milk prices. The drought was followed by a wetter and cooler summer last year which depressed demand.

“Some impacts such as the prolonged drought, a wetter and cooler summer and rand volatility were beyond our control,” Clover said.

Africa’s most industrialised economy emerged from a recession in June, helped by a recovery in agriculture, but consumer spending and investor confidence remain depressed.

Clover said it would not declare a final dividend due to weak economic conditions and the group’s growth funding requirements. (Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Ed Stoddard and Louise Heavens)

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