JOHANNESBURG - Investment holding company Huge Group yesterday reported a 188percent jump in net profit after tax, ascribing the surge to acquisitions it made in the year to end February.

The group said profit climbed to R76.04million during the period from R26.81m last year, bolstered by cash generation from its acquisition of telecom provider Huge Connect.

The group acquired 100percent of Huge Connect in March 2017 for R275m.

It said the acquisition proved a defining event for its operations and represented an inflection point in its growth trajectory.

Huge Group said it planned to make more acquisitions in the future to increase its service offerings to the market.

“Acquisitive activity will continue to be essential to the growing Huge strategy, with bolt-on acquisitions and service-diversification investments being actively pursued,” it added.

Huge Group also acquired 75percent of computer software provider Acqknowledge during the period.

The group said it was waiting cautiously for further purchases.

Acquisitions

It reported a 63percent increase in group revenue to R401.38m, up from R245.99m last year. The performance included 11 months of trading from Huge Connect and Huge Networks.

Operating profit rose 168percent to R112.98m, up from R42.24m.

Headline earnings per share increased by 76.2percent to 46.34cents a share, up from 26.30c, while basic earnings per share rose by 80.23percent to 47.40c, up from 26.30c, compared with last year.

Its net asset value a share grew by 73percent to 423.99c during the period as a result of the acquisitions.

The group’s telecom division increased revenue by 7percent, after the inclusion of 11 months of revenue from Huge Networks, while revenue from its financial technology business grouping, which now includes Huge Connect, was R136m during the period, from zero in the previous financial year, the group said.

While trading conditions during the 2018 financial year were tough for the telecom grouping, it was able to increase its base of installed telephone lines by 4percent, its base of installed data services by 15percent, and its base of monthly annuity customers by 6percent,” the group said.

The group said it would continue to focus on its historic core, single-service offering of voice connectivity and did not operate a holding company structure.

The board did not declare a dividend.

- BUSINESS REPORT