Marc Hasenfuss Editor-at-large

On the surface, it would appear Howden Africa is preparing for a huge acquisition or the economic apocalypse. The company, which provides specialised air and gas management services and has Eskom as a major customer, finished the six months to end-June with R1.125bn cash on hand. The cash pile is worth about R17/share — representing an inordinately large chunk of intrinsic net asset value. This once again raises the question of why the heck the company hasn’t paid a dividend since 2013. But neither an economic apocalypse nor a major acquisition appear to be on the horizon for Howden. The company posted a more than decent 185c/share in interim earnings, backed by net cash generated from operating activities of R185m (285c/share) and another reassuring performance from its core fans and heat exchangers division. That division had a 20% increase in orders received in the first half of 2017 to R713m (compared with R592m in the corresponding period in 2016). Howden CEO William Thomson sa...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now