INDUSTRIAL group Hudaco increased its dividends by 13% despite another difficult year for the mining, manufacturing and agricultural sectors in SA.

"The results, which we consider excellent, were achieved under the most challenging circumstances. Fundamental to our success in 2015 was a focused move into more resilient market segments through acquisitions that supplemented the performance of Hudaco’s traditional businesses," the company said.

In the year ended November 2015, Hudaco reported a 17% rise in turnover to R5bn while operating profit grew by 23% to R603m compared with the year-earlier period.

Headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the period were R11.63. Comparable earnings per share (which the group regards as a more reliable indicator of earnings) were up 18.6% to R11.69.

Hudaco declared a final dividend of 345c per share, bringing the total dividend of the year to 525c, up 13% from the year-earlier period.

Meanwhile, the group said it was still embroiled in a legal wrangle against Bravura Equity Services and Cadiz Specialised Asset Management.

The dispute revolves around the financing of Hudaco’s 2007 black economic empowerment (BEE) transaction. The company said it aimed to recoup R180m.

Looking ahead, Hudaco said there would be earnings growth in 2016 boosted by the continued growth in its alternative energy businesses.

At 9.22am, the company’s share price was up 4.16% at R99.99, valuing the company at about R3.3bn.