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IN AN easier economy, Metair’s transformation from a family-run, single-customer, domestic business could have made it a better catch for value-seeking investors unafraid to dabble in small-cap stocks.The past five years have seen the supplier of automotive car parts double gross profit and maintain a dividend cover of about three times headline earnings.Between 2010 and 2014, the stock grew threefold to a record R45.20, even as economic growth in SA dwindled.Metair has come a long way since the 1960s, when its founder, Albert Wessels, won the licence to produce the first Toyotas in SA and supply the car’s parts.Back then, 88% of the company’s revenue came from the Japanese car makers’ South African unit.Today, Metair lists other car manufacturers such as Renault, Honda, Ford and Fiat, Hyundai, Volkswagen, and Mercedes-Benz among its clients.Toyota’s contribution to revenue slimmed down to 26% in the year to December 2015.Control of the company, whose market value has more than doub...

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