Jasco seeks new markets in Africa

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Johannesburg - Jasco Electronics, which grew headline earnings a share by 6 percent in the six months to December, was keen to seek new enterprise customers in Mozambique and Kenya in addition to several African countries where it had been successful, chief executive Pete da Silva said yesterday.

The company was mulling the roll-out of contact centres and unified communication services into these new areas.

The roll-out of fibre optic undersea cables along the west and east coasts of Africa had lowered the cost of bandwidth to offer these services, Da Silva said.

“Putting big call centres in Africa five years ago didn’t make sense,” he said.

But Jasco would seek to roll out these services in joint ventures, he added.

The company provides access and transmission networks, software as a service and systems integration among other solutions to the information and communication technology, energy and industry sectors.

It will complete a three-year restructuring by the financial year to June.

When Da Silva took control of the firm two years ago it was generating below R800 million in revenue annually.

Yesterday, the company reported a 4 percent decline in group revenue to R526.7m for the half year to December.

Core operating profit before interest and taxation, excluding all once-off impacts and restructuring costs, increased by 2 percent to R21.2m compared with R20.7m for the same period previously.

Once-off impacts and restructuring costs during the previous year and during the period under review resulted in a 51 percent dip in earnings a share to 4.9c. The Midrand-based company sold a business focused on the automotive industry for a profit of R7m during the period.

Da Silva said his intentions were to “move Jasco up the food chain” and transform it into a high-end services and solutions business. Among the changes implemented are the sale of non-core businesses and the streamlining of customer-selling processes.

A subsidiary selling security solutions was relocated from the East Rand to Jasco’s head office in Midrand.

The stock peaked at 80c during lunch-time trade, but shed 20 percent off low volumes of trade to close at 76c on the JSE. - Business Report


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