Specialist financial service company Ecsponent on Tuesday reported a 72.2% rise in headline earnings per share (HEPS) to 1.7c for the six-months to end-September. Total profits after tax increased by 77.4% to R31m during the period, compared with R17.5m in the prior period, which ran until the end of June, the company said in a statement. External revenue generated by the group’s Business Credit operations increased by 56.4% to R142.2m – 87% of total revenue. Total assets increased by 124%, from R635m to R1.425bn, compared with the comparative period. As a result, operating profit was up 107.5%, from R55m to R114m. During the period, Ecsponent began its expansion to include listed equities, with its first investment a 9.4% stake in Frankfurt-listed MyBucks. This investment had the advantage of providing a rand hedge. Ecsponent, which is funded primarily by high-yielding preference shares, declared no ordinary dividend. However, preference share dividends, and interest of R77.3m, acc...

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