Transaction Capital says half-year headline earnings grew 17% thanks to a strong performance from its business that services SA’s ubiquitous minibus taxi industry.

The group, which owns SA Taxi and Transaction Capital Risk Services (TCRS), said headline earnings in the six months to end-March grew to R363m. It raised its interim dividend 29% to 27c a share.

The SA Taxi business grew total headline earnings 31% as its loans and advances portfolio, comprising 31,543 vehicles, grew 14% to R10.1bn.

The SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) recently bought a 25% stake in SA Taxi for R1.7bn.

“By working closely with the Santaco leadership, we have made great progress in ensuring that our initiatives deliver sustainable benefits to our clients, the industry as a whole, and more importantly, the 15-million commuting population,” said Transaction Capital CEO David Hurwitz.

About 69% of South African households use minibus taxis, Hurwitz said.

TCRS, which operates in SA and Australia, grew headline earnings 13% to R134m.

Hurwitz said Transaction Capital expected to produce “robust organic earnings and dividend growth over the medium term, at least in line with the group’s past performance”.