Asset growth boosts AEEI

Cape Town -180522 – Khalid Abdulla from AEEI at AEEI interim financial results presentation at Table bay Hotel. Picture : Cindy Waxa /AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY /ANA

JOHANNESBURG – Strong operating profits and asset growth boosted African Equity Empowerment Investments (AEEI)’s financial performance in the six months ended February 28.

In the six months, AEEI’s revenue increased by 33percent from R455million to R604m and Abdulla attributed the increase mainly to a significant revenue growth achieved from AEEI’s holding in the technology business.

Operating profit increased by 1326 percent from R587m to R8.4billion because of consistent organic and acquisitive growth, and efficiencies achieved in all its divisions while the successful separate listing of AYO also contributed significantly.

Total asset base increased by 351 percent from R2.1bn to R9.7bn, mainly because of the growth in current assets and the value unlocked on the listing of Premier Fishing and Brands Limited, as well as its associate AYO Technology Solutions Limited and the consistent increase in underlying investments as compared to the previous period.

Addressing shareholders about the company’s interim results for the six months ended February 2018 in Cape Town yesterday, chief executive Khalid Abdulla said he was optimistic about the company’s subsidiary AYO Technologies.

“We believe that it is fairly valued. It will add volatility, because of people who bought in early, but I think it will come right over time. Look at our report in 2019; give us 12 months.

Vision 2020

“Our fishing business (Premier) is a good example we were called by shareholders saying we were not spending the money. We can spend the money, but we don’t want to over-spend it. Now they can see that we are spending wisely. So if you give AYO 12 months, that I can assure you,” he said.

AEEI and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) own 49percent and 29percent of AYO, respectively, while the rest of the shares are owned by several small institutions and a small percentage of people who bought into the company approximately 20 years ago.

“For the last few years, when presenting, I have referred to our ‘Vision 2020 Vision’ strategy, and it is now clearly apparent that our goals and targets are being met and, in most cases, exceeded.

“This performance and vision was further validated when I recently spent time abroad and in several of the industries within which the group operates.

“While the global economic environment has residual challenges, investor confidence in AEEI and, indeed, South Africa, remains firm. AEEI is firmly focused on delivering on what it has set out to achieve,” he said.

Abdulla, speaking on AEEI’s planned venture into new regions such as Limpopo and Zimbabwe for the group’s events and tourism division, said the sector’s growth was good for the group.

“That is obviously good for us, we wanted to have more than one or two events and we are growing. We will probably grow further into the African continent over the next few years. Over the next year or two we will probably create about 200 new jobs,” he said.

AYO shares rose 15.35 percent on the JSE yesterday to close at R29.99.