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Nov 25, 2005

Fruits of the bloom

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Construction|Business|Defence|Industrial|Siemens|Service|Infrastructure|Cables|Operations
Construction|Business|Defence|Industrial|Siemens|Service|Infrastructure|Cables|Operations
construction|business|defence|industrial|siemens|service|infrastructure|cables|operations
THE recent consumer boom, fuelled by low interest rates and tamed inflation levels, has allowed electronics company Reunert to ramp its revenue by 13%, from R6, 2-billion to R7-billion, for the financial year ended September. Reunert CE Gerritt Pretorius notes that strong performance in the group’s operations contributed 34% to earnings performance.

The company owns a stable of electronics and electronic engineer- ing companies, which include Nas-hua, Nashua Mobile and RC&C Holdings.

Pretorius says that the low interest rates and lower inflation contributed to a consumer boom, which was especially favourable to the group’s consumer businesses, Nashua Mobile and RC&C Holdings.

Meanwhile, in its electrical engin-eering interests, African Cables and CBI, a strong performance during the financial year was attributed to growth in residential and industrial construction which, in turn, fuelled a demand for electricity-distribution infrastructure. Turnover in the electrical engineer- ing operations increased by 36%, from R1,4-billion in the 2004 financial year to R2-billion for the 2005 fin-ancial year.

Referring to its telecommunications interests, the company states that Nashua Mobile will continue to operate as an independent service provider servicing all three networks.

In October, however, Nashua Mobile signed a deal with Vodacom to ensure that the company will be a preferred independent service provider to the Vodacom network for the next five years, with an option to extend the agreement for a further five years.

Although its telecommunications interests recorded a 7% increase in revenue over the previous financial year, Reunert predicts that growth in the cellular-phone market will inevitably begin to dip. Apart from its ownership of Nas-hua Mobile, the company also en- joys a 40% stake in Siemens Tele-communications. One of the areas in which the JSE-listed group experienced poor performance, however, was in its defence business, Reutech, which experienced a bleed in revenue, from R443-million in 2004 to R298-million for the last financial year – a change of 33%.

The defence company’s operating profit also slumped to R1,7-million for the 2005 financial year, from R48,5-million the previous year.

“Defence, however, is a small part of the refocused Reunert and today represents less than 4% of the group,” says Pretorius.
Edited by: peter cromberge

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