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HCI EXCEEDS R1BN EARNINGS MILESTONE

18 May General

Investment holding company with stakes in television, gaming and manufacturing sectors exceeds R1bn for the first time in results for year ending March

GROUP headline earnings at Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI), the investment holding company that controls e.tv, exceeded R1bn for the first time this past financial year, the company said yesterday.

“Admittedly some one-offs helped, though there were some large write-offs to match. This is a good result and is a significant milestone in the growth of the group,” the company said, announcing its results for the year ended March 31.

HCI’s star performers included its broadcasting operations in e.tv and gaming businesses in Tsogo Sun, which grew profit 17% and 12% respectively.

However, last year’s star, Golden Arrow bus company, which then grew 57%, slid 17% this year but still turned in a substantial profit of almost R200m.

Clothing and textile company Seardel struggled and had to retrench 1500 workers.

HCI said it would continue to invest, especially as it continued to diversify operations to include property development, distribution of electronics, toys and stationery, and polymer and textile manufacture.

Some of it key acquisitions are in property, gaming and alcohol producer KWV. HCI had been able to influence management at KWV, but acknowledged that KWV had been struggling. “Management says it will now be able to turn around (KWV’s operations),” HCI said.

Engineering business Formex and gas operation Montauk also struggled financially, it said.

Tsogo Sun has bought out partners in the Suncoast casino and Formula 1 hotels. It also bought the Milpark Southern Sun and the Grace Hotel in Johannesburg. The latter will shortly be reopened as 54 on Bath.

Source:Business Day- Trevor Neethling