Metrofile, the JSE listed information and records storage management business, which released its, has reported positive growth in earnings and revenue for the fiscal year ending 30 June 2011, alongside a maiden final dividend of 2.5 cents per share following the introduction of dividend payments at the interim stage.

According to Metrofile CEO, Graham Wackrill, the company remains optimistic of generating continued growth in earnings, dividends and cash flows in the future, through the continued expansion of its services in the information management sector, with a focus on cross-selling its diverse range of solutions and services to both new and existing customers.

The group announced a 38,2% increase in headline earnings per share (HEPS) to 18,1 cents compared with 13,1 cents for the same period last year. Normalised HEPS also increased by 24,0% to 18,1 cents from 14,6 cents.

Revenue increased by 12,4% to R460,5-million while EBITDA rose 15.6% in the period to R146,2-million. Cash generated from operations was up 15,1%, while gearing continued to improve. Reduced finance costs also resulted in a 38,8% increase in profit after tax.

Commenting on the prospect for further growth in the South African market, Wackrill says Metrofile is now well-placed to capitalise on recent legislative developments to further grow its local market share.

“Through recent legislative changes, including the Consumer Protection Act, the New Companies Act (which has amended the generic retention periods of documents from five to seven years) and the proposed Protection of Personal Information Act, Metrofile is in a very strong position to be able to partner with its customers with regard to good record keeping, legal compliance and risk mitigation.

He says this growing need for reliable and cost-effective records management, combined with the group’s capacity to handle volume requirements in storage and access, as well as the widening range of related services that the group is able to offer, all contribute towards continued optimism for future growth in earnings.

Alongside plans for local expansion, Wackrill says Metrofile remains committed to its stated expansion strategy into Africa, which is being driven by the demand of existing customers. “As previously stated, we are very close to finalising a partnership for our Nigerian operation and will be announcing the details of this in the near future.”

He says the continued growth reflected in the group’s full-year financial results provides further evidence of Metrofile’s ability to produce continued steady growth in its key fundamentals. “Our pattern of growth continues to reflect the largely non-cyclical nature of our primary business units and our ability to generate stable returns for shareholders, despite any outside headwinds.”

As a result, he says Metrofile expects to continue to deliver growth in revenue, EBITDA, HEPS in the 2011/12 financial year, helped by continuing growth in local demand and further opportunities presented as a result of its expansion strategy into new regions.