The Group produced for the first half of 2007, a profit before taxation of $366 million, which is an increase of $102 million or 38.7% and profit attributable to shareholders of $236 million, an increase of $61 million or 35.2%, in comparison to the same period for 2006. Earnings per share of $1.38 have grown from $1.02, an improvement of 35.3%.
Your Directors are pleased to announce that these results are the Group’s best half year results to date. Revenue of $2,313 million for the period to June 2007, an improvement of 19.4% over the same period for 2006, is a continuation of the growth experienced during the first quarter. The Group’s performance is indicative of strong management capitalizing on good economic conditions and is a trend which your Directors are confident will continue into the third quarter of 2007.
The focus of the Group continues to be on maximizing efficiencies and productivity, and extracting the value of past investments in new plant and equipment. All sectors in the Group have recorded improvements in performance over the first half of 2006, and performance to date notwithstanding, your Directors anticipate that the remainder of the year would produce enhanced results when compared to the same period for 2006.
Vision 2010 – the Group has previously articulated that its Vision 2010 is to achieve the revenue and profitability that would deliver earnings per share of $5.00 by year ended December 2010. Based on the progress to date in comparison to 2006, it is clear that these goals are attainable, and your Directors will continue to focus on achieving these goals.
Your Directors have approved an interim dividend of 30 cents per share (2006 – $0.25), which will be paid on November 16, 2007 to shareholders on the register on November 2, 2007. The register of members will be closed from November 7 – 8, 2007, both days inclusive. In accordance with Section 11b of the Company’s Act 1995, the Directors have fixed November 8, 2007, as the record date for the payment of the interim dividend.
A. NORMAN SABGA
CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE
August 3, 2007