Company news in brief

Standard Bank reports earnings growth
Standard Bank, South Africa's largest bank by assets, said on Friday earnings in the first three months of its 2023 were up a quarter year on year, with it getting a boost from higher interest rates.
In the three months to end-March, group earnings of R10.2 billion were higher than R7.4 billion in the prior year, which included a negative treasury share adjustment, the company said in a filing on behalf of shareholder the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).
If this adjustment, which is no longer required under accounting rules, is excluded to create a more comparable base, then attributable earnings grew 28%, Standard Bank said.
The group’s performance was supported by higher average interest rates, good balance sheet momentum from 2022, continued growth in transactional volumes, a strong trading performance and an ongoing recovery in Liberty Holdings, which saw an improved claims experience, it said. A weaker rand exchange rate flattered earnings growth rates in rand.
Credit impairment charges in the first quarter were higher than in the comparative period, given balance sheet growth, client strain on the back of higher than anticipated interest rates and corporate and sovereign risk migration.
The group’s credit loss ratio for the first quarter was closer to the upper end of the group’s through-the-cycle target range of 70 to 100 basis points, it said. – Fin24

Oceana flags doubling earnings
Fishing group Oceana has flagged a more than doubling of its headline earnings per share for its half year to end-March, amid strong volumes in canned fish and high levels of opening inventory.
The company, valued at over R9 billion on the JSE, expects headline earnings per share to rise by between 127% and 147% to end-March, it said in a trading update.
The results were partially offset by increased cost pressures and firm international pricing for fishmeal, fish oil and wild caught seafood, it said.
Oceana's shares were up almost 1% in morning trade on Friday, and have risen by more than a quarter over the past year. - Fin24

Coronation warns of loss
Coronation Fund Managers has warned it swung into a loss for its half-year to end-March, hit by the loss of a legal battle with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) that could cost it R900 million.
Headline earnings per share are expected to decrease by between 101% and 111% to end-March the company said in a trading update, with total assets under management at R623 billion, down about R2 billion year on year.
Coronation, valued at just over R10 billion on the JSE, booked R697 million in headline earnings in its prior half year, but recently lost a legal battle over whether it the profits of its business in Ireland should be included in its SA taxable income. It has said the estimated liability is between R800 million and R900 million.
Earlier in February, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), which had to decide whether the Irish business qualifies for the tax exemption, ruled in favour of SARS. This prompted Coronation's shares to crash by more than double digits, wiping out more than R1 billion in shareholder value.
Coronation has said its provision is being based on all financial years from 2012 to 2022 being impacted by the application of the SCA judgment, while the group has also said it doesn't intend to pay an interim dividend.
"The company applied to the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal the SCA judgement as it is firmly of the view that the SCA erred in its ruling. Should the Constitutional Court grant leave to the parties for the matter to be heard, it is likely to be heard in the 2024 financial year."
Coronation's 2023 financial year concludes at the end of September. – Fin24