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Cartrack in double-digit earnings

By Edward West Time of article published May 14, 2020

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CAPE TOWN - Cartrack Holdings delivered another year of solid double-digit earnings growth from its operations in 23 countries, but the outlook for the 2021 financial year had been dampened by uncertainties surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, chief executive Zak Calisto said yesterday.

The shares of the global provider of mobility solutions for asset management and recovery and workforce optimisation, is trading under cautionary on the JSE, as a foreign investor had expressed interest to acquire Cartrack and list it on a major global stock exchange, with a secondary listing on the JSE.

Calisto said the deal would be value enhancing for shareholders should it proceed.

The share price notched up 9 percent to R24 on the JSE just after midday yesterday, before closing at R23.24.

In what he described in an interview as “the best year in Cartrack’s history”, subscriber numbers grew 17 percent to 1126515, while subscription revenue, which came to 97percent of total revenue, increased 24percent to R1.89billion.

Operating profit for the year to February rose 28percent to R642million, and headline earnings per share was up by the same percentage to 148.1cents.

The final dividend was raised substantially to 54c from 12c in 2019, which brought the full year payout to 74c, more than double the 30c in 2019. Cash generated from operating activities was up 94percent to R914m.

Regions outside Africa grew subscription revenue 30percent year-on-year, showing increased appetite for sophisticated data and business mobility solutions. The subscriber base had increased to more than 1145000 since the financial year end, with all the growth coming from Asia and Europe.

Calisto said the balance sheet held no debt, cash flow generation was strong, margins were healthy and he believed the group was well positioned to weather the Covid-19 storm.

First-quarter new subscriber additions for the 2021 financial year reflected a 35percent decline in March and April 2020 compared to the same period 12 months before, “and we plan for weaker new subscriber additions for the first half of the year,” he said. There had been no spike in subscriber cancellations, however, and as at the end of April there were 14659 additional subscribers.

Calisto said that they would continue to diversify the customer base, innovate the technology platform through research and development, and scale up international operations.

Asia Pacific had, in a short space of time, become the second-largest revenue contributor and the fastest growing segment in the group. This region delivered earnings before interest, tax and amortisation growth of 94percent to R74m in the year to February 29.


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