AEEI grows revenue by 44% to R3.4bn
CAPE TOWN - JSE-LISTED African Equity Empowerment Investments (AEEI), a diversified investment and empowerment group, grew revenue by 44 percent to R3.4 billion in the year to August 31, due to strong organic growth from underlying investments and acquisitive growth.
Basic earnings per share increased by 101.3 percent. A final gross dividend of 20 cents per share was declared, bringing the payout for the 2020 financial year to 30c, a 76.5 percent increase over the previous year.
Chief executive Valentine Dzvova said AEEI had embarked on strategically growing its operations and asset base annually, which this year, was partially hindered by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Our focus thus shifted to safeguarding the sustainability of our current subsidiaries, especially those severely impacted by the pandemic. Despite the tough market conditions, the global economic crisis, socio-political unrest in the Far East and the impact of Covid-19 on some of our businesses, the group maintained its focus and stayed the course to deliver these financial results,” she said.
The net asset value per share decreased slightly by 3.66 percent to 1 256.5c, resulting from the negative impact of the pandemic on the global market.
Despite the slight reduction in the net asset value, however, the group continued to retain its strong balance sheet and liquidity, which was strengthened by cash reserves of R3.3bn.
Net cash generated from operating activities increased 39.5 percent to R199.6 million.
Dzvova said the results translated into consistent returns which AEEI received through an efficient and resilient business model, diversified investment portfolio, and healthy overall operational performances.
AEEI’s investments include Premier Fishing and Brands, AYO Technology Solutions, Orleans Cosmetics and AfriNat in the health and beauty division, EspAfrika and Tripos Travel in the events and tourism division, Genius Biotherapeutics and other stakes in BT Communications Services South Africa, SAAB Grintek and Sygnia.
Chief financial officer Jowayne van Wyk, said although the group performed well, it was done so during “immensely challenging times”, yet AEEI remained on a positive trajectory and the intention was to continue improving its financial performance, while driving sustainable returns for stakeholders.
Dzvova said AEEI was healthy and had steadily paid out growing dividends year-on-year in line with longterm investment policies.
“The group has a great platform to pursue further acquisitions in various business sectors to grow aggressively during the next growth phase over the next few years. Our business model remains on a firm growth path to becoming a market-leading investment holding group, investing not only in other companies and market strategies, but also invests in our own employees, who will assist us in continuing to deliver long-term value for our shareholders and our stakeholders,” she said.
In the fishing and brands division, global selling was under pressure due to the pandemic, which has caused a decline in revenue and in turn, profitability, but demand remained strong even though Covid-19 had severely impacted the export market.
AYO Technology Solutions grew its revenue by 81.2 percent to R2.9bn, mainly through its operating divisions and acquisitive growth.
Acquisitive growth continued throughout the year, with AYO acquiring Kathea Communication as well as a significant stake in Kathea Energy, which would see the group becoming the largest distributor of headset equipment in Africa, as well as being at the forefront of providing clean and sustainable energy solutions, respectively.
Revenue for the health and beauty division contributed positive earnings before interest and tax. The events and tourism division were negatively impacted by the fallout from Covid-19 and the resultant international lockdowns, with business and leisure travel banned and the prohibition of large gatherings enforced.
EspAfrika was not permitted to host “Africa’s Grandest Gathering” this year due Covid-19. Tripos Travel, AEEI’s travel business, was severely impacted by the ban on travel, but had been right-sized and was mapping a new strategy to cater for emerging travel needs post-Covid-19.
Genius Biotherapeutics, AEEI’s research and development division, in collaboration with research partners based at the University of Cape Town, was set to commence human clinical trials on breast cancer next year.