Allied Electronics (Altron) has increased revenue by 6% to R13-billion for the six months ended 31 August 2013.
During the period, normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased 5% to R871-million against the comparative period in 2012. Normalised headline earnings per share (HEPS) increased by 15% to 91 cents.
“Much has been achieved in the last six months,” comments Altron chief executive Robert Venter. “We completed the long anticipated buyout of the minority shareholders’ shares in Altech bringing Altron’s shareholding in Altech to 100%.
“We believe that the combination of Altron’s telecommunications, multimedia and IT businesses under the Altron TMT division, will help unlock new revenue streams, result in efficiencies and pool talent from the Altech and Bytes entities which will result in innovations and growth opportunities.
“Although the interim results only reflect one month under the new structure, a lot of progress has been made with the integration of the Altech and Bytes businesses.”
For the six months ended 31 August 2013, Altech showed a good recovery with Altech Autopage performing well in a competitive market. Altech Netstar increased revenue but EBITDA decreased as stolen vehicle recovery rates came under pressure while corporate fleet management saw some encouraging growth. Altech UEC produced excellent results off the back of good sales into Africa for digital terrestrial television.
“Altech UEC has been an excellent performer,” says Venter. “Capacity was added to the factory through a R50-million investment and the target is to produce over 5-million set-top-boxes in 2013. The business currently has an order book of over R2-billion.”
Bytes continued its strong performance across most divisions with Bytes Universal Systems and the UK businesses contributing significantly.
“Over the last number of reporting periods Bytes has been focusing on increasing it penetration into the public sector. Its strategy has paid off with public authorities now in third position in terms of customer segment size behind banks and retailers,” says Venter.
Bytes has also made progress on its penetration of Africa with its “follow our customer” strategy which entails servicing current clients in other countries as they expand into Africa. Going forward most of the IT assets in Altech will be operationally managed by Bytes, streamlining the group’s IT products and service offerings.
Powertech experienced revenue growth but earnings were negatively impacted by reduced margins primarily as a result of underperformance from the Aberdare Cables business albeit that this division showed a marked improvement when compared to the second half of the prior year. Overall, the Powertech group’s performance is also much improved from the second half of the prior financial year. Powertech’s order book is looking strong, particularly for the transformers and cables businesses.
A recovery and increase in activity appears to be emerging in the building and construction sector, which will positively affect the power electronics side of the group. The first phase of the National Rail Projects should come to fruition in the second half of the year as well as phase two of the REIPPP renewable energy project. Powertech is expected to supply products into both of these significant projects.