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CAPE TOWN -  Telematics group Cartrack’s 28 percent increase in headline earnings per share to 72..2 cents was “in line with budget,” CEO Zak Calisto said yesterday. 

The group had used the past six months “to consolidate and tighten the belt a little bit” following the strong growth in the second half of the previous financial year.

There had been no geographic expansion in the past six months, the focus was on deepening its presence in its existing markets, particularly Australia.  Some consolidation in the first half would also put the group in a position to “give”it some gas” in January, he added. Cartrack may consider entering the French and German markets, he added.

In the six month period revenue was up 26 percent to R1.04bn, with subscription revenue up 26 percent to R897m.  Earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) was up 28 percent to R480m, while cash generated from operating activities increased 70 percent to R446m.

The interim dividend was raised 11 percent to 20 cents.

Calisto said they were pleased with the results, which showed a continued demand for the group’s technology platforms.

During the reporting period, one million subscribers was surpassed for the first time, “a significant milestone that places us among a select group of global leaders in mobility solutions,” he said.

Regions outside of South Africa now account for 27 percent of revenue.

In Cartrack’s South African segment, revenue grew strongly by 26 percent to R655m, while subscribers grew by 23 percent, despite the weak economy. 

Hardware revenue in South Africa fell by 56 percent compared to the first half of the past financial year, while subscription revenue now accounts for 96 percent of revenue. 

Ebitda in South Africa of R386m grew 18 percent.

“The South African business was able to effectively maintain its operating costs as a  result of significant investment in back-office systems. These proprietary systems will  enable Cartrack to continue to compete and trade effectively in an economy with many  untapped opportunities despite significant economic headwinds,” the group said in a statement.

BUSINESS REPORT