Afrox seeks strategic partnership to fortify Joburg hub

DURBAN – African Oxygen (Afrox) is planning a strategic partnership before the end of the year with an international partner to strengthen its manufacturing hub in Johannesburg.

Afrox managing director Schalk Venter said on Friday: “The international partner has the know-how, and this will help us to access higher brand products. The partnership will also help us to sell higher brand products, and we expect the partnership to be finalised by the end of the year.”

In the six months to the end of June, the JSE-listed gas and welding technologies group reported a 10.2 percent decline in revenue to R2.69 billion, or 7.5 percent when adjusted for changes in liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) market prices, from lower volumes across all segments related to the Covid-19 lockdown.

However, the group said this was mitigated by a stable healthcare business and the successful recovery of cost inflation, particularly in the atmospheric gases and hard goods segments.

Its earnings before interest and taxation fell 26.5 percent to R336 million, mainly due to lower volumes related to the lockdown restrictions and increased sourcing costs for LPG resulting from the shutdown of local refineries.