Speaking at the group’s financial results presentation for the year ended February 2006, in Sandton, Altron CEO Robert Venter said that the key growth drivers for the group over the next five to ten years would be centred on the areas of public-sector infrastructure spend; the deregulation of the telecoms market; the high-growth mobile telecoms market in Africa; the conversion to the Europay/Mastercard/Visa (EMV) standard; and an integrated information-technology (IT) offering.
These five growth areas represent signifi- cant opportunities for the various businesses within the Altron stable, with Powertech, in particular, standing to benefit from public-sector infrastructure spending and the expanding mobile-telecoms market in Africa.
The deregulation of the telecoms market and the conversion to the EMV standard, meanwhile, offer opportunities to Altech and BTG, while the latter also stands to benefit from opportunities in the IT market.
Powertech CEO Norbert Claussen indicated that the company, which boasts key brands in the cables and accessories, transformers, batteries and electrical-accessories sectors, was facing an inflection point, which prompted it to launch a new corporate identity to drive its market position.
Operating mainly in the building and construction, power infrastructure, mining, telecoms and transport sectors, Claussen said that Powertech was at the threshold of exploiting some exciting growth opportunities.
While there have been some whispers of possible declining house prices and interest hikes, Claussen said that the building and construction sector remained reasonably buoyant.
The mining industry, meanwhile, has been in recovery.
Ongoing platinum demand and favourable commodity prices have allowed mines to push ahead with expansion projects, all of which should translate into orders flowing through the Powertech organisation.
Although the fixed-line telecoms market offered little growth opportunities, Claussen said that GSM growth, particularly in African countries like Nigeria, Tanzania and Mozambique, is posing interesting possibilities.
Capital expenditure in the transport sector is also likely to translate into some solid orders from the State-owned rail operator, Spoornet.
However, power infrastructure projects, in particular, are expected to significantly boost Powertech’s growth prospects in the next five years.
The company’s cables and transformer businesses already have a combined outstanding order book of well over R1-billion.
The transformer order book is very strong, with work on the distribution side scheduled right through to August/September, while, on the power transformer side, work will be running until the end of the financial year.
According to Venter, provided that Powertech maintains its current market shares in the power generation (25% to 40%), transmission (