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Year of growth for African Equity Empowerment

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JSE-listed BEE company African Equity Empowerment Investments Limited (AEEI) boosted earnings by 67% in the half year to 29 February 2016, ahead of growth plans announced by the group.
Highlights include:
* Group revenue up by 18%;
* Operating profit up by 39%;
* Earnings per share increased to 67%;
* Headline earnings per share up by 31%;
* Total assets increased to 23%;
* Net asset value up by 23%;
* Net operating cash generated up by 169%; and
* A dividend of R12,3m paid to its shareholders.
“Another sterling performance for the interim period to 29 February 2016 has set the platform for outstanding profit growth for AEEI. We are very pleased to have exceeded our growth targets during this exciting new phase for our Group. This comes as a result of strong contributions from all AEEI’s underlying operations and investments,” says Khalid Abdulla, CEO of the AEEI Group.
All the group’s subsidiaries have shown good growth in profitability. Our major operations in Food & Fishing as well as IT are showing outstanding performances due to strategies to extract efficient organic growth and synergies. The platform is set for acquisitive growth going forward.
For the interim period, group revenue increased by a strong 18%, while its operating profit improved by 39%. The group’s earnings per share and headline earnings per share increased by 67% and 31% respectively. The total assets as well as the net asset value per share (NAV) increased by 23%. As a result of solid financial performance from the underlying divisions and efficient working capital management, net cash from operations increased impressively by 169% from R11-million to R29-million.
Professor Vukile Mehana, non-executive chairman of the AEEI Board, says: “The performance to date has to be applauded as traditionally the second half of the Group’s performance produces significantly stronger results due to the seasonal nature of some of the businesses.”
The group’s asset base increased by R291-million to R1,536-billion. This was mainly due to the growth of its operations.
While restructuring its shareholding in Saab SA, AEEI disposed of its 5% investment in Saab SA and acquired a 25% + 1 equity share in Saab Grintek Defence (SGD) during the period under review.
The group’s acquisition in SGD is seen to be an important breakthrough for both SGD and AEEI for its growth plans within South Africa, Africa and abroad – by adding value, creating jobs in order to alleviate poverty, and finding solutions in the global market.
AEEI also acquired an investment in Sygnia on 14 October 2015 for R10-million, the value of which has subsequently increased by an impressive 80%. Abdulla stated that the Group’s strategic investments are hand-picked, which will deliver synergistic value.
BTSA is well positioned to grow consistently over the next few years, with expected growth in earnings as well as in dividend returns.
The Group’s strategic investments include British Telecommunication Services South Africa (BTSA), Pioneer Foods Group, Sygnia and Saab Grintek Defence.
“These deals are testament that AEEI is the empowerment partner of choice to large multinationals,” says Abdulla.