AEEI pleased with record growth in revenue

Khalid Abdulla (Supplied)
Khalid Abdulla (Supplied)

Cape Town - African Equity Empowerment Investments Limited (AEEI), increased group revenue by 43% from R736m to R1.052bn during it financial year ending August 31.

According to the group it has been a record to achieve more than R1bn in revenue. Operating profit increased by 111% from R310m to R655m and the group said in a statement this was as a result of consistent organic and acquisitive growth.

JSE-listed AEEI is a diversified investment empowerment company and holds operational investments in fishing and brands; technology; events and tourism; health and beauty; and biotherapeutics and strategic investments, some with international partners.

Earnings increased by 120% from R217m to R477m, which translates to earnings per share (EPS) increasing from 44.09 cents to 97.10c.

Headline earnings (HEPS) increased by 120% from R212m to R466m, with HEPS per share increasing from 43.13c to 94.89c. In line with the group’s strategy, the asset base increased by 65% from R1.7bn to R2.8bn.

"AEEI’s strategic intent to grow its asset based increased by 65% from R1.7bn to R2.8bn mainly due to the successful acquisitions, the value unlocked on the listing of its fishing and brands subsidiary and the consistent increase in the underlying investments and assets as compared to the comparative financial year," the group said in the statement.

Net cash generated from operating activities increased to R80m.

AEEI announced a final dividend declaration of 5.50c per share, after paying an interim dividend of 2c in May 2017. The total gross dividend per share for 2017 amounts to 7.50c, an increase of 127% compared to 2016.

According to Khalid Abdulla, group CEO of AEEI said, it remains on a positive trajectory is able to continue improving financial performance year-on-year, while driving sustainable returns for all stakeholders.

"We have been fortunate to meet and in most instances, exceed our targets for the year under review,” he said.

During the year, AEEI successfully listed Premier Fishing and Brands separately on the main board of the JSE. The subsidiary raised R526m capital through the issue of new shares on the listing date.

The capital raised will be used for expansion of the subsidiary’s abalone farm to increase production from 100 tonnes to 300 tonnes over the next few years, as well as accelerate its growth strategy through acquisitions and further organic growth.

The technology subsidiary, now named AYO Technology Solutions’ (AYO Technologies), also delivered growth in line with its strategy by increasing revenues and operating profit by 182% from R168m to R476m and 142% from R256m to R619m respectively.

The significant growth in AYO Technologies is in line with its preparation for the separate listing on the JSE’s main board in the short term.

AYO Technologies delivered strong organic growth through the acquisition of two ICT companies plus the incorporation of its investment in BT Communication Services South Africa (BT) under AYO Technologies.

The health and beauty sector increased its revenue and profits by 247% through increasing its expanded footprint and acquisitions. During the year, AEEI acquired 90% equity in Orleans, the exclusive South African and Southern African distributors of imported, high-end cosmetics brands such as Gatineau, NUXE, RVB SKINLAB and Sothys.

AEEI’s events and tourism sector delivered revenue of R118m. espAfrika hosted the 18th Cape Town International Jazz Festival and its second Royal Escape Experience at Sun City during July.

Magic 828 radio station (Magic) celebrated its second anniversary and increased listenership by 155% during the year across the greater Western Cape region from 134 000 listeners to 342 000 listeners. Tripos Travel continues to increase its market share in the leisure travel and tours, according to the group.

AEEI has minority equity stakes in Saab, Sygnia and Pioneer Foods.

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