Ian Lourens, the chief executive, said yesterday that the sale of the group’s 49percent shareholding in DriveRisk and the sale and leaseback of the Umlaas Road properties in KwaZulu-Natal would enable OneLogix to trigger growth opportunities.
He said the R16.8million profit on the Umlaas Road transaction had not only improved its cash position, but also its balance sheet, which meant the group was better placed if it wanted to borrow.
He confirmed that OneLogix had “quite a few irons in the fire” regarding potential acquisitions, but nothing he could report on at this stage.
He added that OneLogix had made 11 acquisitions in the past five years, all of which had been successful, which meant the group was adept at finding something that suited it.
But he said the group was also looking at its internal resources to see if there were start-up opportunities using its existing infrastructure.
Lourens confirmed that the group had purchased a two-hectare property adjoining its 10ha Pomona facility for R16.5m after the six months' reporting period to November to increase its vehicle storage facility and facilitate further value-added customer service offerings.
He said this acquisition had been prompted by market demand and not because the group was hoping it could get customers to store vehicles at the facility.
“It’s going to complement the spread of storage facilities that we have around the country. Our biggest facility is Umlaas Road and at our Pomona Road facility we store only about 3500 vehicles. The acquisition will allow us to increase that, but it's on the back of market demand.”
Lourens said a further R10m had been allocated to develop the property to operational requirements, which included the rezoning from agricultural holdings, putting down tar, erecting carports and upgrading the offices. He said the expanded facility should be operational within the next three or four months.
A strong performance by the group’s abnormal logistics division was largely responsible for the group's increasing revenue by 14percent to R1.15bn in the six months to November from R1bn in the previous corresponding period.
Operating profit, boosted by the R16.8m profit from the Umlaas Road transaction, improved by 36percent to R112.3m from R82.7m. Excluding the Umlaas Road transaction profit, operating profit increased by 20.5percent. Trading profit grew 11percent to R101.5m from R91.5m.
Headline earnings a share increased 21percent to 20cents from 16.5c. An interim dividend of 6c was declared.
Lourens said the earnings growth in the six months' reporting period was entirely organic in nature and affirmed the strength of the group’s growth strategy.
Shares in OneLogix rose 5.93percent on the JSE yesterday to close at R3.75.
- BUSINESS REPORT