From left: Mark Anderson executive director of the Vunani Group, Advocate Dr Wallace Mgoqi chairperson of AYO, Naahied Gamieldien, acting chief executive of AYO, with Ethan Dube, chairperson of the Vunani Group. Photo: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – Information and communications technology firm, AYO Technology Solutions, on Monday declared its maiden dividend as it announced robust annual financial, showing significant revenue and profit growth.

Independent non-executive chairperson of AYO, Dr Wallace Mgoqi said this was a proud moment for AYO and its shareholders. “It is also a proud moment for me, as chairperson of the board, to advise our shareholders that AYO declared a dividend of 30 cents per share.”

The group said its revenue had increased by 33 percent from R478 million to R638m, compared with the prior year, with all divisions benefiting from the group’s synergies, empowerment credentials, excellent management expertise as well as gaining significant clients in various sectors.

Dr Mgoqi said: “It’s been an unusually tough year in the market for AYO. However, despite media speculation and the resultant negative publicity, I am so proud of the AYO team as they remained focused, were not distracted by the ‘noise’ and remained determined to grow the AYO business in a sustainable manner, focussing on improved client service, with a special emphasis on job creation within the ICT sector and most importantly, increasing shareholder and stakeholder value.”

The ICT firm said the improving market conditions and regulation pertaining to the new B-BBEE codes had set AYO in a strong position to capture the growing ICT spend across the South African and African markets.

AYO’s primary competitive advantages is its B-BBEE ownership credentials and its ability to leverage global relationships to deliver both local and international services and products to multinationals.

Profit before tax for the period surged by a significant 390 percent from R40m to R196m, stemming from the organic revenue growth and interest income from the capital raised on listing. Net cash generated from operating activities increased by 243 percent from R40m to R137 million.

The group’s asset base increased by a massive 1 500 percent from R292m to R4 671m, which includes the capital raised from the listing.

Naahied Gamieldien, acting chief executive officer and chief financial officer for the group, said she was pleased with the results, and was looking forward to the next phase in the growth of AYO. 

“AYO is well positioned on the JSE as a leading information communications technology (ICT) company, and is in a favourable position to attract growing ICT spend across the South African and African markets. The Group has strong management expertise and a sound track record,” said Gamieldien.

Post the financial year August, AYO announced its acquisition of 55 percent equity in Sizwe Africa IT Group, of which the transaction value for AYO is estimated to be R165m for the percentage equity purchased.

“The acquisition of Sizwe is another indication of how our ambition to realise our goals and objectives that we set out in our strategy, are coming to fruition,” said Gamieldien.

Sizwe had revenue contributions of more than R1 billion and earnings before interest, tax depreciation and armortisation of 75m for its year to June.

The ICT firm said the transaction with Sizwe would create further scale within the AYO platforms and would broaden its customer base, public sector presence and would contribute more than R1bn revenue over the next 12 months towards the AYO Group.

In October, AYO announced that it had embarked on a R100m fintech joint venture with Vunani, to expand the fintech platform and financial services activities. The interface between ICT and telecoms, a core enabler provided by AYO, is said to be expanded on and access to global partnerships will, over the next decade, be the great disrupter in financial services on the African continent.

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