Altron outperforms with strong full-year results

Altron CEO Mteto Nyati

The turnaround at Altron is gathering steam, with the formerly Venter family-controlled business now led by CEO Mteto Nyati reporting a 50% improvement in full-year headline earnings per share from continuing operations.

The results, for the year ended 28 February 2019, showed normalised earnings before interest, tax, deprecation and amortisation, also from continuing operations, rising 24% to R1.6-billion. Altron declared a final dividend of 44c/share, bringing the total dividend for the full year to 72/share. Revenue from continuing operations rose 7% to R15.7-billion.

The strong performance came on the back of significant customer contract wins, including phase two of the Gauteng Broadband Network, secured by Altron Nexus, and the Gautrain management agency tender, won by Altron CyberTech.

Altron Bytes Systems Integration was awarded a data and analytics contract by First National Bank, while Netstar won a three-year contract from the eThekwini (Durban) municipality for the supply, integration and maintenance of a vehicle tracking technology solution for 7 000 vehicles.

Bytes UK was awarded a five-year Windows 10 contract with the UK’s National Health Service worth R2.7-billion, while Netstar Australia Group was awarded a fleet management contract by Ausgrid.

The disposal of the remaining material non-core businesses and assets of the group was also concluded, with Powertech Transformers sold with effect from 31 July 2018. The disposal of Altech UEC/Multimedia, the last non-core control asset, was concluded, too.

Net debt

In South Africa, Altron generated 83% of its revenue from the private sector and 17% from government.

Net debt was R1.3-billion, from R1.5-billion previously, while cash generated from operations totalled R1.5-billion. R184-million was absorbed into working capital, compared to R298-million in the prior year.

In a statement accompanying the results, Altron said it is “tracking almost a year ahead of its goal of doubling Ebitda by year-end 2022”.

“We are two years into the One Altron strategy five-year road map and have already surpassed our set key milestones, putting us ahead of plan by almost a year. Our South African operations have seen Ebitda growth of 15% despite the tough economic climate. We bolstered our ‘Rest of Africa’ operations and this investment delivered Ebitda growth of 41%. European operations have done well with over 80% Ebitda growth,” said CEO Nyati.

“Overall we want to continue to grow organically but will keep looking for bolt-on acquisitions in the areas of data analytics, cloud and the Internet of things — these remain growth drivers for the company.”

Nyati said the group’s “star performers” were Bytes UK with Ebitda growth of 79%, Netstar with 19% growth and Altron Bytes Secure Transaction Solutions with 14% growth.

Altron shares were trading marginally higher in Johannesburg shortly after markets opened on Thursday at R20.50. They have appreciated by almost 50% in the past year.  — © 2019 NewsCentral Media