File Photo: IOL

CAPE TOWN – Black-owned ICT group AYO Technology Solutions yesterday lifted its headline earnings per share 226 percent to 56.67 cents in the six months to February 28, 2019, on the back of strong performance and acquisitive growth.

The African Equity Empowerment Investments group associate declared an interim maiden dividend of 35c per share last year.

AYO chief executive Howard Plaatjes said organic growth, and from a large contract in July 2018, helped to drive a 93 percent increase in turnover to R675 million.

“Work on the contract is progressing very well, with positive feedback from the client, and AYO expects to obtain other large contracts as it builds on its platforms driven by its ‘Go to Market’ strategy,” said Plaatjes.

Tatenda Bundo, chief financial officer at AYO, said pre-tax profit surged by 226 percent to R267m. 

Group performance was also hiked as a result of recent acquisitions.

The group has a 55 percent stake in Zaloserve Proprietary, a 40 percent equity interest in Saab Grintek Technologies, now known as SGT Solutions, and a 32 percent stake in Bambelela Capital.

Zaloserve holds an indirect 100 percent shareholding in Sizwe Africa IT, which offers ICT services such as the full spectrum of physical IT infrastructure, optic fibre, facility management, continuous energy supply, networking and security, hosting, storage server processing, mobility, data centre, and end-user computing.

Sizwe, which has annual revenues in excess of R1 billion, generates cash from operations of more than R75m and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of more than R70m.

AYO said it made further acquisitions at the close of the interim reporting period, including a 24 percent equity interest in Global Command and Control Technologies for R3.6m.

The group also bought a 50 percent stake in a Special Purpose Vehicle to invest in disruptive financial services technology.  

The underwriting of AYO’s shares at its listing in December 2017 recently fell under the spotlight in a commission of inquiry into the Public Investment Corporation, but AYO’s directors have said previously they were confident that the group’s investment processes would stand up to scrutiny.

Plaatjes said AYO would continue to focus on its acquisition strategy and its digital economy transformation agenda.

BUSINESS REPORT