Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Elb Group, an engineering solutions provider, pushed sales up 63% in the interim period to December 2017 despite a “tough trading environment”.

Sales of engineering services more than doubled to R974m in the six months from R452m in 2016. Overall sales rose to R1.7bn from R1bn previously as profit for the period rose to R52m from R46m. There were gains across all business segments — power, construction, mining, minerals and industry.

The group also made “significant progress” on big projects, while better penetration in the equipment and Australasia markets drove profits.

“The engineering services increase was predominantly on the back of existing large projects, and in particular [a] zinc concentrator in the Northern Cape,” group CEO Stephen Meijers said on Wednesday.

“The equipment increase is on the back of improved market penetration and replacement equipment largely from the South African market,” he said.

He said the Australasian segment had increased market penetration through aggressive selling and better service, but not at the expense of margins.

The results came amid improved minerals commodities prices and political change in SA and Zimbabwe.

“There is a lot of potential in Zimbabwe once things open up and investors are assured of … the robustness of regulations and protection for investors,” Michael Simms, mining and energy lead for audit and advisory firm Moore Stephens, said on Wednesday.