Business Connexion increases headline earnings

The Business Connexion group on Tuesday reported headline earnings per share of 74,9 cents for the year ended May 31 2005, from 34,2 cents a year ago. The group declared a normal dividend of 20 cents per share and a special dividend of 17 cents per share.

Revenue grew marginally to R2,816-billion from R2,812-billion, while profit after tax increased to R287,6-million from R128-million previously.

Operating profit increased by 43% to R180,4-million from R125,8-million, representing 6,4% of revenue.

The group said its balance sheet remains strong with cash reserves of R776,3-million, notwithstanding the trademark settlement payment to the South African Revenue Service of R159-million. Cash generated from operations excluding the settlement payment amounted to R128,2-million.

Looking ahead, the group said its black-empowered status and innovative “solutions” approach will continue to yield benefits for shareholders.

The group added that the information and communications technology sector, in general, is still in a recovery phase.

“Notwithstanding, we have seen an increasing interest in certain offerings, particularly in infrastructure and professional services outsourcing where the group’s strengths are well recognised.

“The board has approved the development of a new data-centre facility, which will enhance the group’s long-term leadership in the infrastructure-outsourcing market.”

The company said that despite the difficulties experienced in the rest of Africa in the past year, it is still a focus area that management believes will generate future returns.

The board believes management’s focus on superior service delivery, maintaining a substantial annuity income base, cost containment and positive cash flow will continue to enhance stakeholder value.—I-Net Bridge

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