Accentuate CEO Fred Platt. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Accentuate CEO Fred Platt. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Flooring company Accentuate has rushed to assure shareholders its business is on a firm footing and will grow in the second half of its 2018 financial year.

On Friday, results for the six months to December 2017 and first half of the financial year indicated that subdued demand from the government for Accentuate’s products placed the company’s sales under pressure. The group suffered a R1.775m loss.

The company received R6.5m in the prior period due to the fraud conviction of a former director. This once-off item could not be repeated and Accentuate’s other income line decreased 95% to R400,000 in the reporting period compared with R8.7m for the 2016 period.

CEO Fred Platt said Accentuate had taken steps that should deliver better returns to shareholders at the end of the June 2018 financial year.

“Accentuate is a company with underlying investments involved in infrastructure supplies, with a focus on flooring, the water treatment and chemical sectors.

“These sectors have over the past six months suffered from depressed macroeconomic conditions, political uncertainty and a lack of confidence in the country. In order to counter these direct impacts, we have had to establish a clear, defined and detailed growth plan for immediate implementation,” said Platt.

Group revenue for the year decreased 1.3% to R157.3m from R159.3m in the comparative 2016 period, resulting from lower sales volumes in FloorworX.

Platt said flooring would remain the major sales contributor for Accentuate for the next year. The flooring business contributed 78% of group sales during the reporting period. The water treatment and chemicals businesses were still gaining traction. But production volumes at the East London manufacturing facility were purposefully managed down as a result of low demand from government infrastructure, including classrooms and clinics.