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Sep 29, 2009

Altech posts 17% increase in interim profit, sees more growth

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Information communications technology group Allied Technologies (Altech) expects to see continued growth in its businesses for the remainder of the financial year, owing to a strong order book, growing annuity revenue, the growth in East Africa and the liberation and deregulation of the telecommunications sector.

The group, led by CEO Craig Venter, on Tuesday reported a 14% increase in its net profit for the six months ended August 31, 2009, to R322-million, compared with R283-million the year before.

Revenues were up by 4% to R4,7-billion, compared with R4,5-billion in the first half of the 2008 financial year, while earnings a share increased by 13% to 283c a share, compared with 252c a share the year before.

Altech Autopage Cellular had connected 105 376 new contract subscribers during the first six months of the year, taking its total post-paid subscriber base to 850 433.

The average revenue per user had increased from February, but was still slightly down year-on-year, noted the group.

It added that revenues from the sale of mobile data services through add-on data bundles and cellular data connections continued to grow on a monthly basis. The active broadband and data subscriber base was 11% higher at 82 500.

Meanwhile, Altech Netstar had met budget expectations despite the continued weak economic conditions and a decline in motor vehicle sales.

The testing of the Netstar Global System for Mobile communications platform in Malaysia had been successful, with rollout planned to start during the second half of the year, the group highlighted.

The Altech Netstar Traffic business would "imminently" launch its traffic information product and solutions, following the conclusion of extensive testing of the technical data and systems.

The business could potentially become a strong revenue and profit driver for the Altech Netstar group.

The Altech Stream East Africa (ASEA) operations had "shown explosive growth" in the first half of the year, noted Altech.

The restructuring of the Internet Service Provider entities, in light of the arrival of submarine capacity into Converged Services Entities, was nearing completion, it added.

Further, Kenya Data Networks (KDN) had managed to connect submarine capacity from Mombassa, in Kenya to Kampala, in Uganda, and to Kigali, in Rwanda, through its 4 000 km terrestrial fibre network.

The East African operation was on track to achieve its targets for the year and had also received a full network operator licence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

OTHER BUSINESSES

Meanwhile, the group reported that the Altech UEC business had recorded satisfactory results in the six months, with continued strong demand for the advanced set-top box (STB) decoder products it developed and manufactured.

It has also recently concluded a number of new contracts with broadcasters in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

In order to meet additional demand for its products, Altech UEC has invested in manufacturing capacity in its Durban STB facility, as well as in additional manufacturing capacity in the Far East.

Further, the Altech Card Solutions business had recorded an "exceptional performance", as the transaction switching business had experienced good growth, owing to the addition of new customers during the trading period, said the group.

It added that the switching division was working on strategic projects that could make a substantial contribution in the second half of the year.

The transaction service provider and switching company, Altech NuPay, had also exceeded its profit targets despite the global economic downturn.

The launch of new reconciliation facilities to a broad market sector, as well as to individuals, would take place soon.

 

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter
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