Caxton warns of lower earnings


Caxton warns of lower earnings


Published Date: 2021-03-03 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Caxton warns of lower earnings

The printing and publishing group says it continues to feel the ripples of the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Caxton and CTP Publishers and Printers will report a decline in headline earnings for the first half of its financial year as operating activity fell due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

In a trading statement, the printing and publishing group said it continued to be impacted by the effects of the pandemic over the six months to end-December as operating activity failed to return to the same level as the previous year despite a relaxation in lockdown restrictions. Actions taken toward the end of its last financial year to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 were completed during the current period, including the closure of some divisions, a restructuring of its ongoing operations and a pay freeze and cash preservation. It said these culminated in a satisfactory outcome when taken against the backdrop of a curtailed economic environment.

For the period, it expects headline earnings per share to be 14.8% to 19.5% lower than the 45.3c reported a year earlier, while earnings per share were likely to be 140.2% to R152.7% higher than the 44c previously reported.

Earnings for the period were further impacted by the sale of its investments in fibre-to-the-home business Octotel and internet service provider RSAWeb, which resulted in a R304.9 million profit after capital gains tax. It booked an impairment of R64.6 million on plant and equipment due to the permanent decline in magazine and printing markets and also reported a fall in net finance income.

Last May, Caxton said it was closing its magazine division, affecting titles that included Bona, People, Country Life, Essentials, Food & Home and Rooi Rose, amongst others.

The company expects to report its interim results on 23 March. Its shares closed 5.3% up at R6.22 yesterday.


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