Divisional reports

Freight

Sustainability

More than 1 700 training interventions completed in BTT to ensure the highest safety standards

13 kilolitre of industrial waste water was treated and discharged

Scope 1 CO2 emissions declined a further 4%, 20% since FY17

LPG terminal investment will transform South Africa’s supply

Anthony Dawe, chief executive
BTT’s new LPG storage facility in Richards Bay is on track and on budget.”
Anthony Dawe, chief executive

Salient features

  • Trading profit up 3.8% to R1.4 billion, revenue up 5.3%
  • ROFE: 41.3%
  • Liquid Petroleum Gas storage facility on track for commissioning in mid-2020
  • Agricultural volumes down but chrome, manganese and other mineral commodities were higher
  • The diversity of this division, offering freight, storage, logistics and warehousing services provides overall year-on-year benefit

Review of the year

Trading profit increased, despite an extremely large downward swing in agricultural volumes, but higher chrome and manganese tonnages were handled. There were also good volumes in fertiliser, anthracite and metallurgical coke.

There were, however, lower volumes and fierce price competition in warehousing and transport within Bidvest Panalpina Logistics (BPL). The Panalpina Group was recently acquired by a major global group and this will result in a new international forwarding and clearing partner in the near future. BPL’s trading profit was lower, characterised by lower volumes and difficult trading conditions.

Bidvest Tank Terminals (BTT) delivered a good performance. BTT’s new LPG storage facility in Richards Bay is on track and on budget. The fabrication of the bullets has been completed, shipped to South Africa, and have been positioned on site.

South African Bulk Terminals’ profit was down on last year, with overall volumes some 26% lower driven by lower maize exports and a decline in wheat imports as a result of higher local wheat production.

Bulk Connections’ trading profit grew largely as a result of higher manganese and chrome volumes. Its terminal is back to full capacity and all insurance matters have been finalised.

Bidvest SACD handled slightly higher year-on-year export volumes. The other areas of the business remain challenging in this market.

Bidfreight Port Operations delivered good growth in trading profit with higher bulk volumes handled, including fertiliser, anthracite and metallurgical coke, while Richards Bay reported an improvement resulting from the handling of bulk cargoes.

Naval’s trading profit is down and continues to operate under tough conditions. While sized coal showed some growth, the high traffic congestion is impacting the turnaround time of the trucks and rail deliveries constrained profitability growth.

OnTime, the United Kingdom-based business, produced good results, which were up on last year. Vehicle storage remains high which has necessitated additional short-term storage capacity.

Looking forward

Management’s attention, in this difficult market, remains focused on efficiency and cost control. Volumes for various mineral commodities are showing good signs of growth and significant market changes over the coming year are not anticipated.