Alert Steel toughens mettle amid tough trading conditions

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The company’s revenue increased to 404.9 million rand for the six months ended 31 December 2013, from 374.2 million rand in the previous comparative period. While cost of sales also increased 320 million rand from 298.1 million rand in 2012.

“The trading for the six months under review continued to be challenging. The difficult trading conditions experienced in the first half of the calendar year in Limpopo province where the group has a significant presence continued in the second half of the calendar year,” Steel Holdings said in a statement.

[DATA AET:Alert Steel] is a steel and steel-related products retailer in South Africa.

Gross profit was recorded at 84.8 million rand for the period under review from 76.1 million rand in 2012. Loss before taxation however increased to 35.7 million rand from 28.4 million rand in 2012.

Diluted headline loss per share was recorded at 61.1 cents from 60.8 cents in 2012.

“During the period under review, the group introduced hardware and building supplies together with steel and steel related products to offer customers a complete range of products required for the building industry,” the group explained.

“In line with this decision to expand the product range, the group acquired all the trading stock from Build Kwik Wholesalers Proprietary Limited, a retailer in the building and hardware supplies industry to the value of 23.6 million rand during December 2013.

The group also acquired certain fixed assets from Build Kwik amounting to 6.1 million rand.

Headline loss increased by 14.7 per cent to 31.8 million rand from 27.1 million rand in 2012. Headline loss per share however decreased by 0.27 per cent to 61.1 cents per share from 60.9 cents in 2012.

External revenue for Alert Steel’s branches showed marginal increase, and the containers and express stores segment revenue increasing to 71 million rand from 41 million rand in 2012.

“It is the company’s intention to develop a further 28 stores between now and April 2015, which will be sited in the greater Johannesburg and Pretoria areas,” said Alert Steel.

“These areas have an added benefit of limiting the distribution costs as they are very close to the distribution centre in Pretoria. The result of these additional stores will have a positive effect on the financial position of the [company].”