- African Growth and Opportunity Act
TRALAC - Trade Law Centre
You are here: Home/News/Article/Seardel's interims benefit from AGOA

Seardel's interims benefit from AGOA

Published date:
Tuesday, 04 March 2003

Cape Town - Seardel Investment Corporation yesterday posted an exceptionally well-stitched set of half-year results.

This was reflected in headline earnings a share surging by 109.7 percent.

Sales grew by more than R400 million to R2.2 billion, ensuring a 52.6 percent rise in net income to R53.5 million.

Analysts said higher exports and increased import substitution had helped the results streak well ahead of expectations. They noted, however, that the next six months would be key in evaluating the effect of the stronger rand.

Executive chairman Aaron Searll attributed the strong showing to two factors: the benefits of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), which he said had flowed through strongly in the past six months; and buoyant retail trade in the local market.

The effects of the stronger rand were not felt in the half-year numbers, Searll said, but the appreciating currency would very likely affect profitability and imports in the coming six months. Local volumes could decrease because of an influx of cheaper imports.

But exports to the US and euro zone economies would, in part, balance out lower production.

Searll said the company had little control over currency fluctuations, but the board had prioritised the protection of its market share in the US and Europe


Exports, which totalled R254 million, grew dramatically during the six months, with clothing exports up by 36 percent and textiles rising 45 percent.

A segmental breakdown of the results showed that Frame Textile Group, which was acquired about two years ago, added significantly to half-year results. It contributed 45 percent of turnover and 63 percent of operating income.

At the start of January an empowerment consortium - made up of Cyril Ramaphosa's Millennium Consolidated Investments, Hosken Consolidated Investments and Corpcapital - secured a 20 percent stake in Seardel, buying 26.8 million ordinary shares. The capital was used to reduce borrowings.

Internal cash flow at the end of the interim period was R84.6 million from R44.9 million.

Looking ahead, Searll expected tougher export growth but reiterated that the focus would be on maintaining offshore market share.

The diversified activities of Seardel, the country's largest clothing and textile manufacturer, include office automation and consumer electronics distribution (through Seartec), toy distribution (through Prima Toys) and travel and property investments.

The stock, which has risen over 40 percent since the last set of interim results, fell 55c to R3.

You are here: Home/News/Article/Seardel's interims benefit from AGOA