ARB's shares surge 24% on strong interims
DURBAN - ARB HOLDINGS share price leapt by more than 24 percent on the JSE yesterday morning after the investment and property holding company reported a strong interim performance, with earnings surging by almost 26 percent. Later in the day the share price closed at R4.
For the six months to end December, its headline earnings per share increased by 25.9 percent to 41.12 cents a share, up from 32.65c and net profit after tax was up by 28.9 percent to R109 million compared to R85m, while revenue increased by 5.3 percent to R1.49 billion, up from R1.42bn compared to last year.
Chief executive Billy Neasham said the key achievements during the period included significant improvements in operating profit and operating margin, with operating profit increasing by 59.2 percent to R169m at an operating margin of 11.3 percent.
“This was largely the result of our trading environment improving significantly in the six months, despite the economic effects of the pandemic-related lockdowns applicable during the period,” Neasham said.
ARB Holdings operates electrical, lighting and corporate divisions.
In the electrical division, its revenue increased by 5 percent and operating profit showed a strong growth of 60 percent.
The division consists of ARB Electrical Wholesalers, GMC Powerlines, ARB Global, CraigCor and CED.
Neasham said the electrical division yielded a significant improvement in operating profit, mainly due to an improvement in the gross margin from trading and other cost-saving efforts despite the lack of economic growth or infrastructure development in South Africa and the lingering effects of Covid-19 and lockdowns.
Its lighting division reported revenue growth of 5.8 percent and operating profit was up by 94.9 percent.
The group said profitability improved substantially largely due to the effects of the rationalisation from the integration of the Eurolux/Radiant facilities in Johannesburg, which is now starting to reflect significant savings. The corporate division reported a decline of 4.9 percent in revenue while operating profit increased by 2.9 percent.
The group said the results were down, but in line with expectations, given the fixed nature of the property rental income and the reduction in rentals received during the lease renewals on July 1 as a result of Covid19. Looking ahead, Neasham said it was likely that the biggest challenge would be planning around any possible future waves of the pandemic.
“It appears that normality in markets and many aspects of daily life will only return in 2022 or thereafter,” he said.