AFTER-tax earnings for the six months to June fell to R73-million, the result of a loss of production at its Camps Drift hot finishing mill, which was out of commission for 46 days after a failure in its main 68-ton motor.
Such is the importance of this one motor that Hulamin's share price increased by 1.8% on June 19 on news that it had been repaired and recommissioned.
Hulamin CEO Richard Jacob said "efforts to recover the backlog are progressing apace".
Although the South African market is an important element of Hulamin's business, a significant portion of rolled products are exported to Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia.
The general weakening in global demand has resulted in the outlook for Hulamin's margins being uncertain - though the company's order book remained healthy for the remainder of the year.
The company expects to extract further operational improvements and production efficiencies by increasing volumes, improving yields and managing costs.
Hulamin's products are used in the automotive, packaging and construction sectors.
The company announced good progress in its internal manufacturing excellence programme, designed to improve its efficiency and reduce costs.
According to Jacob, the programme lost momentum during the period of disruption caused by the hot mill breakdown, but is being regained as operations normalise.
Hulamin's share price was trading at R4.60 this week, up 2.2% on the release of the results.