Argent cites brand names such as Toolroom, Phoenix Steel, Xpanda, Jetmaster , Giflo Engineering, and Hendor Mining Supplies on its website.
In the nonsteel category, it has brand names such as New Joules Engineering North America, and the Megamix and Villiersdorp Quarries as well as NWN Automotive Pre-cision Engineering.
In the company’s year-end results to end-March it reported that revenue was up just under a third from R752-million to R1-billion, while headline earnings per share moved from 127,3 c to 147,8 c.
The company, which has gearing of 23,2%, expects to continue growing “unabated”.
In a statement to the Johannes-burg-based bourse, CEO Treve Hendry said: “The group has very little information to hand that suggests that any of its companies will not achieve increased turnover and profit levels for the 2007 financial year.” Having achieved its short-term goal of R1-billion turnover for the 2006 financial year, it will now attempt to double its 2006 turnover by the 2009 financial year.
It has already identified areas of growth to be tackled in the 2007 financial year.
These include an anticipated increase in steel prices, which will lead to a “vastly improved performance” from the group’s steel-trading and processing companies.
It expects its Gilflo division’s increased capacity to accommodate the “ever-increasing” demand for automotive products, and the rolling out of subsidiary Excalibur’s after-market stainless-steel vehicle-acces- sories ranges is expected to add to the bottom line.
It also anticipates an improvement in Jetmaster’s performance due to a colder 2006 winter, as well as the new product developments.
The weaker rand is also expected to benefit the company, as export margins will be enhanced at Giflo, Jetmaster and Xpanda.
“The group is in a position where it operates mostly in markets that are growing at some pace and where opportunities still exist to increase market share at existing activity levels.
“The group’s ability to take advantage of these two factors will ensure its continued success,” said Hendry.
He added that the company has not achieved acquisition capacity yet and is constantly exposed to and evaluating new acquisition opportunities.
In a statement to the Johannes-burg-based bourse, Hendry said: “Notwithstanding the depressed steel prices experienced during the year, Argent has had another impressive year.
“The past year has been characterised by the successful integration of Xpanda into the group; the successful acquisition of Toolroom Services; growth in all of the group’s companies and excellent management of the steel-trading division in light of the depressed steel prices.” From January 1, the group acqui-red 100% of the shareholding of Toolroom Services for R 54,99-mil- lion. Toolroom manufactures steel office furniture, steel lockers, tables and shelving.
The company uses 500 t of steel a month, which will almost entirely be sourced from the group’s steel companies.