ARB Group revenue up 24 per cent to 1.94 billion rand - CNBC Africa

ARB Group revenue up 24 per cent to 1.94 billion rand

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The electrical product distributor‘s revenue was up 24 per cent to 1.94 billion rand, with headline earnings per share up 15 per cent to 39.5 cents.

“We believe that certainly the market has rewarded the performance of ARB over the last couple of years. In terms of the free-floats specifically, while it has improved as what is still classified as a small cap, we still think that there’s scope to improve the free-float considerably,” ARB CEO Byron Nichles told CNBC Africa on Thursday.

“What you find, though, is with the results being what they have, they tend to be a couple more buyers than there are sellers of our shares right now, so the free float is certainly something that we’re still looking to improve.”

Financial year diluted headline earnings per share were up 16 per cent to 39.4 cents and their dividend was also up 18 per cent to 16.2 cents. Their financial year earnings were particularly helped up by strong performance from their lighting division.

ARB also declared a special dividend of 10 cents.

“Dividends certainly make up a big part of investment returns, particularly in uncertain markets. Where there’s something peculiar or unique to family-run or family-controlled businesses, with strong cash generation, that can never be a bad thing,” Nichles explained.

The group’s gross profit margin was at 21.9 per cent, with operating profit up 26 per cent to 160 million rand.

Nichles added that the board would give careful attention to the group’s cash flow generation, cash requirements, acquisitions and operations in future, with cash generation as a key attention.

“We certainly believe that the business will continue to generate cash and I think the dividends reflect the board’s optimism and confidence in the business. At the same time, we’re looking to deploy that cash through acquisitions, through growth initiatives to generate a better return,” he said.

ARB  is a leading black-empowered electrical wholesaler in Southern Africa that provides a wide range of electrical and line equipment products.