March 16, 2023: South African batteries and auto components group Metair Investments warned on March 9 that it expects to report EPS (earnings per share) reductions of at least 105% as a result in part of the Russia-Ukraine war.
The group said in a trading statement and update to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange it was also assessing what impact the recent earthquake in Turkey, where it owns the lead battery maker Mutlu Akü, could have on its after-market business.
Metair said none of its facilities in Turkey had been directly affected by the disaster and there had been no injuries to staff.
Meanwhile, the group is finalizing its results for the year ended December 31 2022 and has advised shareholders of the expected earnings falls, which it said would represent a decrease of at least ZAR3.69 ($0.20) per share in respect of the EPS compared to the previous year of ZAR3.50.
In addition to the geopolitical climate within Eastern Europe, other factors influencing its results include: the non-cash impact of applying hyper-inflation accounting for its Turkish operations; flooding that impacted auto components production for major customer Toyota South Africa; and, increased interest charges as a result of high net debt levels to support new projects and to mitigate supply chain disruptions.
Metair said its automotive division continued to benefit from OEM sales growth and sales in its overall energy storage business — which includes battery manufacturers Rombat in Romania and First National Battery in South Africa — which remain above pre-Covid levels driven by strong OEM demand.
The group said it will issue a further trading statement as soon as there is more certainty as to the likely range within the EPS which it expects to decrease.
Batteries International reported earlier this month that Metair was putting plans to sell off its batteries division on the back burner and focusing on further increasing the value of the business.