"Blue Label continues to deliver compounding growth."
Highlights for the year included the following:
- Revenue increased to R19 billion.
- Gross profit increased to R1,3 billion supported by margin increases from 6,45% to 6,70%.
- Overheads increased by 3%.
- EBITDA increased to R714 million equating to a growth of 6%.*
- Headline earnings increased by 9% to R425 million.*
- Headline earnings per share increased by 17% from 55,01 cents* to 64,17 cents per share.
- On inclusion of the once off comparative receipt, headline earnings per share declined by 1% from 64,65 cents to 64,17 cents.
- Dividend declared of 25 cents per share.
*On exclusion of the once off income receipt of R79,4 million in the comparative year.
The growth in earnings was mainly due to the contribution from the South African Distribution segment. Commissions earned on the distribution of prepaid electricity increased by 33% to R113million.
The group capitalised on its positive accumulated cash resources by applying funds to:
- take advantage of bulk inventory purchase opportunities at favourable discount rates,
- acquire postpaid and prepaid starter pack bases,
- provide additional funding for Mexico’s expansion.
Looking forward, the Group is expecting to deliver a diverse range of customer engagement initiatives through its affinity programmes. The ticketing engine will provide ticketing to transport as well as sporting and entertainment events. The platform for innovative financial services products, including debit and credit card processing, has been laid. Airtime bases acquired are expected to compound annuity revenues. SMS aggregation is expected to gain further momentum. Consumer awareness of the benefits of prepaid electricity is expected to continue to escalate. POS devices at Blue Label Mexico will soon incorporate banking transactional capabilities.
Capital and reserves accumulated to R3,2 billion, further solidifying the foundation of the Group’s resources.