By Desie Heita
Quinton van Rooyen’s listed business empire yielded bullish results despite the heavy hand by Mother Nature, increasing interest rates, and a non-impressive performance by the business unit that churns out the free weekly tabloid newspaper, Informante.
For the year ended 31 March, Trustco Group Holdings Limited posted 85 percent increase in revenue. The financial year under review also saw, for the first time, the group reporting earnings made beyond the Namibian borders, from its new acquisition in South Africa, Dex Financial Services.
Total revenue for the group increased to N$211 million from N$114 million recorded in the previous financial year. Basic earnings increased by 127 percent, while headline earnings per share increased by 66.7 percent to 39 cents per share.
Distributable reserves increased by 224 percent to N$107 million. Cash and cash equivalents increased from N$6.2 million to N$81.8 million.
“Trustco Group Holdings continued the trend of exceptional growth experienced during the past five years,” the Namibia Stock Exchange listed company noted in its annual financial report.
No dividends have been declared yet and the Board of Directors is set to meet on 24 June to consider “what dividend, if any, should be declared”.
Trustco Group is in the business of insurance, education and financial services.
The report noted that growth in its Education and Finance business unit “was hampered by the severe floods in the North” which occurred during the academic enrollment period of between January and March. Revenue for the Education and Finance business unit increased 14 percent, from N$48,2 million to N$55 million.
The Educational loan book grew with 47.2 percent from N$63.8 million to N$93.9 million. “Further, above average growth is expected in this sector as the demand for further education remains high. Significant further increases in real interest rates may inhibit growth,” said the report.
The group’s insurance business recorded 11.2 percent increase in revenues to post N$76 million for the year under review, up from N$68 million.
“Claims expenses increased significantly by 28 percent. Remedial steps taken to address the issue resulted in a marked decrease in claims expenses after year end,” said the report.
The report said the Development and Media division “comprises of activities which are to some extent in a fledgling state but are showing potential for growth”.
The media business unit recorded a decline of 21.7 percent in profit after tax.
The group said it would put in more money in the business unit to improve capacity and economies of scale.
Trustco Group Holdings is also in discussion to increase its shareholding in Free Press Printers (Pty) Ltd. The printer is jointly owned with The Namibian newspaper.