JHI Properties and law firm Glyn Marais have formed a joint venture for the provision of property due diligence for retail and commercial properties nationally and throughout the African continent.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011 02:00

Liberty learns lessons in Lusaka

Liberty Properties, through its role as the development manager of the Levy shopping centre in Lusaka, Zambia, has many lessons for other property players looking to operate outside SA.

Construction would take 18 months and the development would see traffic diverted into three streams, one each for light vehicles, pedestrians and buses and trucks

Construction Group Raubex Group has pointed to a secured order book of R4.7bn to help see the group through continued challenging trading conditions in the short-term.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010 02:00

Raubex earnings up 11%- 323.8c vs 291.7c

Raubex has reported headline earnings per share up 11% to 323.8c for the year ended February 28, 2010 from 291.7c previously.

The first phase of construction for a new 94 000m² mixed-use project, designed by South African architectural firm Bentel Associates International, has commenced in the Zambian capital of Lusaka

Lonrho had increased its stake in prefabricated buildings manufacturer Kwikbuild to just more than 70% and planned to increase its stake in agricultural processor Rollex SA, CEO Geoffrey White said last week.

GeoffreyKwikbuild has a major share of the South African market, and has businesses in Mozambique and Zambia, while Rollex is one of SA’s largest agriprocessing companies supplying fresh produce to local and overseas customers.

The investments, being funded by proceeds from a recent private placement that raised £25m, were part of a strategy to own majority stakes in the companies in which it is investing across Africa.

White said the private placement had given Lonrho, listed on London’s AIM market, enough cash to expand in the five areas of infrastructure, transport, hotels, agribusiness and support services in 17 countries, including SA.

Once a sprawling conglomerate which, at its peak in 1995, had about 90 companies, Lonrho has restructured, selling assets to pay debt and return cash to shareholders. It is now an investment holding group targeting selected markets in Africa, where White said there were sustainable returns for the patient investor.

“We have so far raised £25m, the bulk of which we intend to deploy to increase our stake in some of our businesses,” he said.

“Our intention is to have a majority stake of at least more than 51% in key businesses and that is the reason we have increased our shareholding in Kwikbuild from 62% to about 71%. We are also looking at increasing our shareholding in Rollex from 51% to a significant amount.”

Kwikbuild has benefited largely from government tenders in SA, where it has supplied prefabricated clinics and classrooms in rural areas. It plans to expand to countries such as Angola and Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as in east Africa.

Rollex is packing and delivering fresh produce and fish to local customers Pick n Pay and Woolworths and, in Europe, to Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

The company, operated as a subsidiary of Lonrho Agriculture, has a large, chilled bonded warehouse at OR Tambo airport.

White said Rollex was growing its export markets. It had begun shipping fish from Namibia to the US and Europe, and had opened new markets in the Middle East and Scandinavia. “There is general demand for African fresh produce and we are sourcing our products not only from SA but elsewhere in Africa.”

There were plans to expand agriprocessing facilities in Angola, Malawi, Mali and Zimbabwe.

White said Lonrho was consolidating and expanding in Zimbabwe through LonZim. He said the country was recovering, and still had “a relatively highly educated labour force with an industrious working culture” as well as good infrastructure.

LonZim’s portfolio covers sectors such as aviation, hotels, IT and pharmaceuticals.


Tuesday, 10 November 2009 02:00

Raubex Group reports improved results

Raubex’s operating profit rise 10,6% to R440m in the six months to August, with the road construction earnings up 10,2% to 159,4c compared to the first half.

Francois DiedrechsenStrong government infrastructure spend saw Raubex Group’s operating profit rise 10,6% to R440m in the six months to August, with the road construction group’s headline earnings per share up 10,2% to 159,4c compared to the first half.

In an interim results statement, Raubex Group predicted “a strong performance in the second half” after reporting first-half revenues of R2,27bn, a rise of 1,8% from the corresponding period last year.

Declaring an interim dividend of 35c per share, Raubex reported a “stable” order book of R5,2bn, up from R4,9bn in the first half.

Profit before tax increased 11,4% to R429m from the corresponding period last year, with the group’s operating margin up from 17,8% in the first half to 19,4%.

Francois Diedrechsen, financial and commercial director of Raubex, said: “It’s a pleasing set of results — the world’s been in a fairly difficult period over the last six months, but we’ve still managed to achieve double-digit growth. We primarily operate in road infrastructure, which is government-driven business, so our exposure to the private sector is reasonably small, which has stood us well.”

Raubex’s road rehabilitation division, Roadmac, recorded a 19,9% fall in turnover to R944m from the first half, although it remained the largest contributor to group revenues. The division’s operating profit decreased 9,8% from the first half to R198,2m.

Raubex blamed the decline on “a change in the segmental mix as Roadmac’s resources are being deployed on various contracts in Namibia and Zambia, increased competition resulting in a lower rate of tender successes … as well as the effect of rise and fall clauses as declining input costs were passed on to the clients.”

Diedrechsen said “40% of Roadmac’s costs are oil price- related; a lot of the tenders we reported on were when oil prices were much higher, before the subsequent deflationary period”.

He also cited the appreciation of the rand against the Zambian currency, the kwacha, as affecting the group’s cash flow.

The statement said “in order to secure new work locally, current operating margins in the Roadmac and Raubex divisions will continue to be adjusted to account for the increased competition, particularly in the light road surfacing sector”.


Monday, 28 September 2009 02:00

African Eagle’s Dutwa ‘for best return’

MINERALS explorer African Eagle Resources would focus its efforts and resources on developing its $450mwa Dutwa nickel project  Dutin Tanzania, chairman John Park said on Friday.

Liberty Properties has pledged its confidence in the African continent , announcing it would start work on its first development project outside SA in January.

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