Divisional reports



  • Able to retrofit existing geyser systems with an electrical solution powered by Solar Photovoltaic Panels to supply power

  • Supplied solar geysers into low cost housing

  • Scope 1 CO2 emissions reduced by 13%

Stan Green, chief executive
By remaining competitive, we maintained market share despite a subdued environment.”
Stan Green, chief executive

Salient features

  • Trading profit down 14.2% to R258 million, revenues down 5.5%
  • ROFE: 12.5%
  • Overall gross margin up by 1.8%
  • Focus on cost control and efficiencies being enhanced
  • Skills base being maintained
  • Well positioned for any market improvement and adjustment
  • The division continued to refine its supply chain operations, benefiting cost containment and enhancing distribution efficiencies

Review of the year

In a market which has seen the near decimation of the construction industry, declining activity in the mining industry, a slowdown in light commercial and residential buildings, together with extremely low levels of infrastructure spend, this division did well to deliver a profit. This result was after having maintained market share in some areas and grown its share in certain sectors, while remaining as competitive as possible.

Management continued to be intensely focused on improving cost control. There has also been good progress on maintaining the skills base, which is critical given its wide variety of solutions and activities that it has to offer the market.

The Atlas Group had a reasonable year in terms of sales despite low demand and price competition.

Voltex experienced a difficult year, revenue was largely flat but operating income improved. Voltex is a well-structured unit and the spread of its customer base remains strong.

Voltex has commenced with the introduction of an improved customer interface, tracking and integration system.

Waco’s performance was disappointing following a number of significant challenges that included a large and complex move to new premises, which is now complete. The Voltex Professional Lighting offering has been enhanced as management remains intent on delivering into this sector of the industry and increasing penetration into this market.

The Cabstrut business continues from strength-to-strength and delivered good growth following some internal consolidation and logistical advancements. The unit has acquired the Bosal Electrical Accessory business.

The performance of MV LV was poor as significant projects undertaken in the previous year were not repeated. However, the MV LV confirmed order book is extremely strong which positions the unit well for next year.

The Electech business had a good performance in a difficult environment with sales and profits increasing significantly. This performance can largely be attributed to the renewable energy sector of the market, and Electech is continuing to evolve into an energy and renewable solutions-type business with numerous offerings and opportunities.

While revenue was down, the bottom line improved at Technilamp, mainly as a result of improved margins. Eagle Lighting had a pleasing performance.

The Mubelo operation in Mauritius delivered a better result and management continues to focus on growing this business.

Looking forward

Trading conditions are not showing signs of improvement, but management remains focused on its competitive advantage as well as ensuring strict efficiency and cost control. The division’s market leadership, together with its sought-after products and offerings, ranging from its branch network to the numerous specialised units, means that it is well positioned to take full advantage of any improved infrastructure spend that may eventuate.