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Omnia Expects Mining Growth and Weaker Rand to Drive Profit

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June 25 (Bloomberg) -- Omnia Holdings Ltd., a South African supplier of explosives and chemicals to BHP Billiton Plc and Rio Tinto Plc, said miners and a weaker rand will drive earnings growth after it reported a record full-year profit.

“Our mining business continues to grow very strongly,” Omnia Managing Director Rod Humphris, 56, said in a phone interview from Johannesburg today. “In agriculture we are expecting a good planting season” for corn.

Omnia’s profit increased 40 percent to 883 million rand ($88 million) for the 12 months through March, while sales advanced 24 percent to 13.5 billion rand. The first quarter ending June has been “positive,” Humphris said.

Omnia is benefiting from a weaker rand as the company generates 34 percent of sales outside of South Africa, including Australasia and Brazil. The rand has weakened 15 percent against the dollar this year, making it the worst performer of 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

Omnia shares rose 0.8 percent by 11:26 a.m. in Johannesburg, valuing the company at 11.5 billion rand. The stock has gained 24 percent this year, compared with a 3.3 percent fall on the FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index. The company increased its dividend 50 percent to 4.2 rand.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kamlesh Bhuckory in Johannesburg at kbhuckory@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net

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