CA Sales, dual-listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange and 4 Africa Exchange as a sales and distribution services provider for fast moving consumer goods in Southern Africa, has produced sturdy results amidst severe conditions in the year to December 2018.
Headline earnings per share increased by 20% to 40.11 cents per share (2017: 33.23 cents).
This follows revenue growth of 14.8% to over R5.5bn (2017: R4.8bn) through a combination of organic and acquisitive growth, gross profit by 14% to R824m (2017: R723.6m) and headline earnings by a robust 31% to R179.4m (2017: R136.8m).
A dividend of 7.96 cents (2017: 5.99 cents) was declared, representing an increase of 32.9%, in line with the increased headline earnings.
Announcing the results recently, CA Sales CEO Frans Britz said the group is very pleased with the solid results produced by its major operating companies.
The roll up of non-controlling interest in Pack na Stack Investment Holdings and Logico Unlimited at the end of last year contributed adequately to the 31% growth in headline earnings per share.
Total assets increased by 22% to R2.5bn, mainly as a result of warehouses and offices occupied by CA Sales and Distributions in Botswana that was acquired during the year under review for BWP243m.
About operations in the different regions, Britz said that Botswana had an excellent year where businesses were able to increase sales by over 10% to R3.1bn. Eswatine performed above expectation and delivered good results for the year under review.
South Africa customers' wallets were squeezed by fuel price increases, VAT rate increase and an economy that is under pressure. This had an adverse effect on the growth of the Southern African business.
The Namibian economy experienced a contraction over all the sectors. This influenced the performance of the group's Namibian operations negatively.
The countries delivered positive contributions to the group, except for the marketing and promotional business which was negatively affected by customers' cut in below the line promotional spend.
CA Sales intends to continue its expansion by growing its principal and customer networks and making value-adding acquisitions, widening its footprint further into new markets.
It is expected that the difficult economic environment in certain markets will prevail for the time being. The group is, however, well positioned with a strong balance sheet and a diverse geographical presence across Southern Africa, according to Britz.
"The group's diversified portfolio should enable it to deliver sustainable results in the future," he concluded.