JSE-listed automotive group Motus has decided to forgo its final dividend following a challenging year marked by the Covid-19 pandemic and a contraction in the vehicle sales market.
Its full-year dividend for 2019 was 490 cents per share. The company will not be paying any dividends for the 2020 financial year.
The group, which unbundled from Imperial two years ago is a vehicle import, distribution, retail and rental company. In South Africa, it is the exclusive importer and distributor of Hyundai, Kia, Renault and Mitsubishi. It also has a rental business under the tempest and Europcar brands.
The group released its annual results for the year ended 30 June on Wednesday, which showed a decline in its headline earnings per share from 1 009 cents in 2019 to 296 cents. The group’s revenue dropped from R79.7 billion in 2019 to R73.4 billion, while operating profit fell by 41% to R2.1 billion from R3.6 billion in 2019.
Motus CEO, Osman Arbee, said in a statement that the group's performance "reflects a decline in demand for our products and services as a consequence of national lockdowns in South Africa, Australia and the United Kingdom.”
South Africa’s vehicle industry has seen a decline due to lower demand, as consumers delay buying cars or trade down to cheaper models.
The group retrenched 1 200 members of staff in South Africa and will assess whether to resume its dividend payments next year.
The company's share price rose by more than 4% after it published its results.