Vivo Energy, which operates fuel stations in Africa under the Shell and Engen brands, saw profit plummet in its first half after volumes slumped in April due to Covid-19.

Headline earnings fell 89% to $7m (R115m) in the group’s six months to end-June, amid pressure in volumes as various countries restricted movement due to the pandemic.

Headline earnings is a widely-used profit measure in SA, stripping out certain one-off items to give a better indication of the underlying performance of a business.

Vivo operates 2,200 service stations in 23 countries across Africa, saying on Tuesday volumes fell nearly 40% in April, with some countries having falls of 70%.

Volumes in the group’s first half fell 7%, and revenue 14% to $3.37bn.

“We entered the Covid-19 pandemic in a position of strength and ended the period cautiously optimistic, having seen a rebound in June in both volumes and margins from their April lows,” said CEO Christian Chammas.

“We are a resilient business, our business model remains unchanged and we continue to position ourselves for future growth,” Chammas said.