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Johannesburg - Transaction Capital, which finances minibus taxis used to transport South African commuters, said fiscal first-half profit more than tripled after the sale of two businesses.

Net income climbed to 755 million rand in the six months through March, from 233 million rand a year earlier, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement today.

Stripping out the asset sales, earnings from continuing operations rose 28 percent to 148 million rand.

Transaction Capital last year sold its stake in unsecured lender Bayport Financial Services for 1.33 billion rand and sold Paycorp Holdings to buyout firm Actis LLP for 937 million rand.

The company said in April it may expand its debt collection unit, MBD Credit Solutions, and draw on experience in asset- backed finance to make insurance acquisitions.

“The underserved and growing small and medium-sized enterprise finance market continues to present Transaction Capital with significant opportunity,” the company said in the statement. - Bloomberg News