The more excitable small-cap punters initially took a shine to ENX Group, which was built out of the remnants of the old Aurora woodworking equipment business by strategic investor Wild Rose Capital. Near the end of 2015 (remembering there was a 10-for-one share consolidation and more recently the unbundling of mining services business eXtract) the group’s share price was around R25 on the JSE. These days the shares trade closer to R13, attractive for a longer-term view. Results for the six months to end-February make for interesting reading, with revenue topping R3.6bn with earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) shifting up 38% to R354m. The revenue spurt in tough trading conditions might cause some fretting around destructive margin sacrifice. But ENX’s EBIT margin was only slightly down at 26.5% (previously 28.8%) and the operating margin was held close to 10% (11%). Cash flow from operating activities came in at R888m, R936m if working capital requirements are stripped out — eq...

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