Revenue was up 20 per cent from 964.6 million rand for the six months ended 31 December 2012 to 1.5 billion rand. Profit before tax also increased 33 per cent to 106.4 million rand from 80.2 million rand in the previous comparative year.

“The revenue growth was predominantly organic reflecting strong market share gains by both the Electrical and Lighting divisions,” the group said in a statement.

“Improved trading disciplines saw the group’s overall gross margin increase from 20.3 per cent to 21.6 per cent.”

ARB Holdings are an investment holding company for businesses specialising in the trading and distribution of electrical and lighting related products to the mining, industrial, construction, and retail industries.

The group also works with domestic markets across Southern Africa.

Headline earnings per share also increased by 35 per cent to 24.88 cents (from 18.43 cents in the previous comparative year.

“The group’s operations remained cash generative although at a lower level than in the prior period due to an 83.1 million rand investment in working capital in line with the increase in revenue,” said [DATA ARH:ARB Holdings].

Revenue for the group’s electrical segment was up 19 per cent to 984.9 million rand, and operating profit was also up 44 per cent to 67.1 million rand from 46.4 million rand in 2012.

Revenue for the group’s lighting segment also reported positive results, with revenue up 24 per cent to 173.5 million rand from 139.7 million rand in 2012. Operating profit was also up 40 per cent.

The corporate segment’s revenue was down 14 per cent to 17.5 million rand from 20.4 million rand, but operating profit down 16 per cent.

“The corporate segment represents the group’s ungeared property portfolio, comprising 15 properties valued at 162.6 million rand, the centralised treasury function and ARB IT Solutions (Pty) Limited,” said ARB Holdings.

No interim dividend was declared.

“Although market conditions are expected to remain challenging for the foreseeable future, both the Electrical and Lighting divisions are well placed to carry their positive momentum into the second half of the financial year,” said the group.