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Italtile Gains Most in Year on Net, Dividend: Johannesburg Mover

Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Italtile Ltd. climbed the most in a year as the South African retailer of ceramic tiles and bathroom fixtures said it would pay a special dividend after full-year profit advanced.

The stock rallied 8.2 percent, the steepest gain since August 2012, to 6.50 rand by the close in Johannesburg. More than one million shares were traded, or 3.4 times the three-month daily average, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The benchmark FTSE/JSE Africa All Shares Index added 0.8 percent.

Earnings per share excluding one-time items in the year through June rose 16 percent to 47.4 cents per share, Italtile said today. The Johannesburg-based company plans to pay a special dividend of 50 cents a share given its “highly cash generative nature,” it said. That’s in addition to an ordinary dividend of 16 cents, a 14 percent increase year-on-year.

“The company has managed to improve profit as it’s refocused the business, taking market share,” David Shapiro, a director at Johannesburg-based Sasfin Securities, said by phone.

Italtile’s TopT business, which caters to lower-income earners, posted record results triggered by “aggressive” pricing and new products, the company said.

The stock has gained 3.2 percent so far this year, compared with a drop of 15 percent for Cashbuild Ltd., a South African building-materials wholesaler and retailer.

To contact the reporter on this story: Janice Kew in Johannesburg at jkew4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net

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