April 6, 2023: Metair Investments posted a loss for 2022 in figures released on March 30 as a result of higher finance costs, hyperinflation impacting its batteries operation in Turkey and the effect of flooding in South Africa.
The batteries and auto components group posted a 61% fall in operating profit of ZAR706 million ($39 million) to ZAR453 million in condensed audited consolidated results.
Ebitda for the period fell to ZAR826 million from ZAR1.5 billion in 2021.
And earnings per share were down 105% to a loss of ZAR0.17 cents per share, compared to ZAR3.54 per share the previous year — in line with warnings issued last month.
Revenue climbed 10% to almost ZAR14 billion, but Metair said its results were significantly impacted by hyperinflation accounting applied to earnings from its Mutlu Akü lead battery business in Turkey.
In addition, Metair said the group was hit by a series of costs including higher logistics costs — mainly premium air freight due to global supply chain disruptions — the knock-on effects of the impact of flooding on 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 mitigate supply chain disruptions.
In addition to Mutlu Akü, Metair’s energy storage division includes Romanian lead and lithium company Rombat and South Africa’s First National Battery.
Metair reiterated that plans to sell of the energy storage business remain suspended as a result of the geopolitical climate in Europe and global financial instability.
Meanwhile, the group said it was postponing some events, including a formal presentation of the annual results and an investors call, while interim CEO Sjoerd Douwenga recovers from an accident.
Metair did not disclose details of the accident but said Douwenga — appointed following last month’s resignation of Riaz Haffejee — was recovering and out of hospital.