Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

PBT Group — the business created out of Prescient Holdings and bought by Stellar Capital for R1.4bn earlier in 2017 — posted a jump of more than 11% in its share price on Monday after declaring a special dividend.

The dividend came from an excess payout worth R26.2m, made to PBT by Prescient Holdings subsequent to its year-end.

PBT said it would announce details "in due course" with the dividend to be paid before or during the first week of August.

But the company, which offers "business intelligence services", has held back from paying an ordinary dividend after posting a slump in first-half operating profit, to just R3.75m, from R42.2m a year ago.

PBT racked up a loss of R51.8m in its Middle-East Africa region, which it blames on "the negative payment culture" that led to "very high" interest charges, as well as a bad debt write-off of R18.4m.

PBT was also hit with "blatant disregard" for the double taxation agreements between SA and certain countries in the region. That forced it to expend a further R16.86m in withholding tax and PBT has warned that the tax charge will be a recurring expense in future periods.

The company said that its South African and Australian operations, which between them made a profit of R37.8m from continuing operations, "continue to trade well" despite trying conditions.

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