Roy Cokayne

ONELOGIX has continued its uninterrupted growth trajectory despite the prevailing industrial unrest affecting several of the businesses within the listed logistics group.

Chief executive Ian Lourens added yesterday that despite increasingly difficult trading conditions, the group’s strategy was to continue growing organically and to seek appropriate acquisitions.

“We remain open to acquisition possibilities that are in line with our model of acquiring small entrepreneurial businesses and offering them the benefit of a management platform that allows them to expand and realise their potential.”

Vehicle delivery services is the group’s largest business and, with commercial delivery services, is a major operator in automotive logistics in South Africa and the southern African region. The group also owns media and communications business PostNet.

Continued organic growth and the maiden contribution from United Bulk following the acquisition of a 60 percent stake in the specialist bulk liquid transporter for R55 million from Tanker Solutions last year resulted in OneLogix yesterday reporting a 25 percent growth in revenue to R1.3 billion in the year to May from R1bn the previous year.

An improvement in trading margins to 9.5 percent from 8.9 percent the previous year resulted in a 33 percent increase in trading profit to R123.3m from R92.79m the previous year.

Lourens said the higher percentage growth in trading profit compared to revenue was reassuring because it reflected the group’s successful initiatives to manage internal inflation.

Operating profit rose by 44 percent to R132.9m from R92.5m. It was boosted in the reporting period by the once-off sale of property, which was the main reason operating profit exceeded the trading profit.

Headline earnings a share grew by 24 percent to 31.2c from 25.1c.

A dividend was not declared. Lourens attributed this to the extraordinary but temporary impact of the group exercising its pre-emptive rights by repurchasing, cancelling and delisting the 10.25 percent shareholding of its black economic empowerment Izingwe Holdings when it expressed its desire to exit its investment in the business.

He said the R60.8m purchase price for Izingwe’s stake, which amounted to R2.50 a share together with the interest on this amount at an annual rate of 8.5 percent from September 3 last year until the purchase date, was paid out of available cash resources and short-term revolving credit facilities.

The shares rose 3.53 percent to close at R4.40 yesterday.