JSE-listed Barloworld has experienced a strong start to its 2017 financial year, with its Southern African equipment division’s order book already standing at R1.7-billion at end-January, up from the previous quarter’s R1.3-billion.
This, the company noted, reflected increased activity in the mining and contract mining sectors, as commodity prices continued to improve. “Our joint venture in the Katanga region of the Democratic Republic of Congo generated a profit in the first quarter which was well up on the prior year,” it said in a trading statement.
Following an extended period of production curtailment, one of its major mining customers has now indicated their intention to start mobilising a portion of its mining fleet in the first quarter.
“This is in anticipation of the commissioning of their new processing plant in the second half of the year, with improved fleet use benefiting our aftermarket activity,” the company said.
In the Russian equipment division, trading in the first quarter also continued positively. The firm order book at the end of January of $56-million is well up on the September level of $21-million and includes the recently concluded Bystrinsky transaction with Norilsk Nickel for 12 large mining trucks.
In addition, the mining project pipeline is strong and has been boosted by some significant greenfield projects.
Meanwhile, the company reports that its automotive division produced a solid overall first quarter amid a tough trading environment, with both revenue and operating profit well up on last year. Car rental showed an improved performance through growth in both rental days and rate per day, while motor trading benefited from the acquisitions in the previous year.