Metrofile Holdings says a combination of strong cash generation from operations and a reduction in net finance costs has enabled it to declare an interim dividend of 4,5 cents per share for the six months ended 31 December 2012, up 50% from the same period last year.
Metrofile’s revenue for the six month period increased by 11,5% to R281,7-million and EBITDA by 10,4% to R90,1-million. Diluted earnings per share (EPS) and headline earnings per share (HEPS) increased by 18,8% to 12 cents from 10,1 cents in 2011.
Graham Wackrill, CEO of Metrofile Holdings, says Metrofile remains focused on cross-selling the group’s diverse range of solutions and services to both new and existing customers.
“The group is well positioned to partner with its customers with regard to good record keeping, legal compliance and risk mitigation.”
Cash generation during the period of R89,2-million represents a 42,9% growth on the comparative period. According to Wackrill, this reflects the strong cash generation of the group’s business model.
Net finance costs reduced by 23,1% in line with the further reduction in debt and the taxation rate was lower than previous periods due to the changeover to withholding tax from Secondary Taxation on Companies relating to the dividends paid.
Wackrill adds that the increase in capital expenditure for the period is in line with expectations and is due to the planned accelerated programme whereby, in addition to the routine replacement and expansion items, R10,1-million has been spent on building expansions which are currently taking place in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
“Despite the higher capital expenditure, the overall gearing has continued to improve leading to a net debt/equity ratio of 33,1% from 55,1% in 2011.
He says the group continues to monitor and optimise its balance of owned and leased premised to ensure the continued availability of space to meet expansionary demand relative to the cost of unutilised facilities.
“Capex for 2013 financial year is planned as R33,9-million of which R23,8-million is for new capacity; this excludes the amount of R29,5-million being spent on additional warehousing.”
On the outlook for 2013, Wackrill says that despite both local and global economic challenges impacting the business environment, the group’s widening range of records management and data protection related services gives rise to the optimism for continued future growth in earnings, cash flows and dividends.
He adds that acquisitions and innovation remain components of the group’s growth strategy and the company remains committed to its African expansion.