AMCOAL Anglo American Coal and sister company Minorco have bought unlisted commodity group Glencore International's 50% interest in Central Cerrejon (CDC) mine in Colombia.
Amcoal and Minorco have formed a new jointly owned company - Anmin Coal Investments - to hold 50% in CDC and through which to make international coal investments. Talks between Anmin, Glencore and Rio Tinto on the merger of CDC with the neighbouring Oreganal coal property are in progress.
The cost to Amcoal of funding the acquisition, and the expansion of the mine, rail and port facilities, is about $145-million.
TELKOM CONTRACT Alcatel Altech Telecoms and Lucent Technologies have been awarded a R2-billion contract to provide wireless technology for the provision of more than 400 000 lines to underserviced areas over the next two years. About two-thirds of the contract goes to Alcatel Altech which recently tied up with black group Rethabile. The contract is the first major project to be awarded as part of Telkom's R40-billion network expansion plan.
MOLOPE FOODS Molope Foods, backed by Johnnic chairman Cyril Ramaphosa, has acquired 100% of catering company Grantham Integrated Food Services with effect from July 1.
The deal, worth R70-million, will be settled by the allotment of between 17.5-million and 23.5-million Molope N shares which will be issued to the Grantham vendors. The acquisition will result in after-tax profits exceeding R30-million for the year to end-June next year.
STOCKS & STOCKS Construction group Stocks & Stocks dropped attributable earnings 30% to R39.1-million in the year to April on a marginal rise in turnover to R1.6-billion. The decline reflects losses in the information technology division, a high interest bill and losses in the Namibian hotel operations.
The order book for the coming year is at a record R2.2-billion, excluding its stake in the Maputo Corridor project.
CADBURY SCHWEPPES Consistent performer Cadbury Schweppes lifted earnings 19% to 17.5c a share in the 24 weeks to June. The results were achieved despite weak trading conditions as volume growth in all of its products saw it lift turnover 17.5%.
Directors said the outlook for consumer demand for the second half continued to be weak, but it would be able to achieve real earnings growth if current demand levels were sustained.
ERPM East Rand Proprietary Mines (ERPM) has cautioned shareholders that as a result of the low gold price and lower-than-expected underground yields, it is operating at a loss "with no reasonable possibility of generating profits in the foreseeable future". There was a strong possibility it would have to cease operations.
CARSON Strong organic growth enabled Carson, the black cosmetics group, to up its earnings 170% to more than R5-million in the six months to June. Directors said its retail business was expanding rapidly, it had products with leading-edge patented technology and there was increasing acceptance of Dark & Lovely as a premium brand throughout Africa. Its export sales have been buoyant, and they now account for more than 33% of its sales.
About 60% of turnover is achieved in the second half. In addition, the West African manufacturing operation has started production and some new brands will be launched. This means sales growth in the second half will be in the order of what was achieved in the first.
HOMECHOICE In its traditionally quiet period and despite a difficult retail trading and consumer credit environment, direct seller HomeChoice has increased earnings by almost 40% in the six months to June. Part of its success is due to its tight control on the quality of its debtors book.
Most of turnover and profits are yet to come in the second half, and demand for its products remains strong.