SEKUNJALO is poised to position itself as a "partner of choice" for international companies in SA, as it uses its credentials as a leading empowerment group to "assist with lobbying and understanding how Africa operates", CEO Khalid Abdulla said yesterday.
The group acquired 30% of British Telecom's South African subsidiary in 2008 and saw the value of that share "increase significantly" in the six months to February this year, according to an interim results statement published this week. "We're looking to do more of these advanced partnerships where we add value at board level," Abdulla said.
Sekunjalo's revenue fell 8% to R168m in the half-year, with net profit slumping 63% to R3,7m. Abdulla said the fall in income was mainly due to the sale last year of Synergy, an information technology (IT) subsidiary.
"We were planning to list the division about a year ago, but when another black-empowered company came to us, with the market the way it was, we thought that was a good way to reduce the risk," Abdulla said.
"Synergy brought in about R30m revenue, which was more than the decline in the period."
The IT division had done "consistently well" in the period and turned an operating profit of R3,8m, with revenue of R50,5m "well ahead of target".
But it was still chasing R500m from the Gauteng health department after cancelling a contract due to nonpayment, although Abdulla expected to receive "much less than that".
The Premier Fishing subsidiary was the biggest contributor to the group's revenue, with turnover of R78,6m.
The group had made a concerted drive to reduce debt, with total liabilities reduced by 28%.