Small-cap data specialist PBT Group has upped its interim dividend by a third, forking out R15.86m to shareholders after the group continued to benefit from demand for cloud-based infrastructure in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The group, which also provides data analytics services and software specifically designed for the health-care sector, declared a 16c dividend for its six months to end-September, when net profit rose 22.9% to R29.8m.

Group revenue rose 21.4% to R389.3m, with PBT saying there was a “seamless transition” of its staff working at the office to remote working, which allowed for business to continue as usual during the pandemic.

Cloud computing refers to services such as data storage through the internet, which does not require direct management of hardware by the user.

Demand for digital services is rapidly growing, with Covid-19 having little effect on demand. Much of the group’s growth has been attributable to clients in the financial services industry, who contribute 78% of group revenue, and are large JSE-listed companies.

“The pandemic has undoubtedly increased pressure on an already weak South African economy,” the group said, adding, however, it still expects demand for data engineering to continue growing rapidly.

SA generates about 90% of the group’s revenue, though PBT also does business in Europe and Australia.

PBT’s share has almost doubled so far in 2020, giving the group a market capitalisation of R396m on Friday morning.


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