Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Allied Electronics (Altron) aims to enter new markets in Africa and will prioritise southern and east Africa, the management said on Thursday.

The JSE-listed telecommunications and information technology group said this week it had created the position of MD for the rest of Africa, and that Ike Dube would fill the role.

This was part of its plan to "grow significantly in the rest of Africa", said Altron marketing and investor relations executive Zipporah Maubane.

Dube, previously head of business risk management at MTN SA, would be "consolidating and expanding our technology offering" at existing African operations, while driving expansions into new markets on the continent.

"Our priority regions are southern and east African territories, followed by central and west Africa," Maubane said.

The group would conduct market assessments and "respond accordingly".

Altron also aimed to offer more products and services to existing customers across the continent. The group has operations in 22 African countries.

Earnings for the year to end-February 2018 grew, Altron said. Headline earnings per share from continuing operations were 14%-19% higher than the prior year after stripping out the effect of once-off costs.

Revenue from continuing operations on a normalised basis would increase 10%-12%.

Altron is undergoing a restructuring, which cost R60m net of tax in the year, and is selling off noncore businesses. The Powertech group, Altech Multimedia and Altech Autopage businesses are classified as discontinued operations, and Altron is in the process of disposing of Powertech Transformers. The group said it expected to sell CBI Telecom Cables and Altech Multimedia in the current financial year.

Sales of unprofitable operations and improved returns from the remaining discontinued businesses boosted earnings. The group said its core operations "had a satisfactory performance for the year ended 28 February 2018".

UK-based Phoenix Software, acquired in September 2017, "positively contributed" to revenue and earnings.