Finance house Mettle’s revenue more than doubled to R24m in the six months to September from R11,1m a year previously, attributed to a clear and strict focus on niche markets and the manner in which its intellectual capital was applied. This is equivalent to 70of the figure for the last financial year to March. These are Mettle’s first published results, ahead of its planned listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange main board in mid-August next year. Mettle is also corporate adviser to black empowerment private equity fund Cape Empowerment Trust, which is listing today. Formed in November 1995 as Boland Financial Services, Mettle is 40,4owned by management and staff, 29,8by BOE and 29,8by Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI). In the period under review, attributable profit was R9,8m versus R11,9m in the year to March. No dividend was declared. Mettle applied for a banking license in August and expected it to be approved in the near future, enabling it to become a debt or equity participant in the financial products and services it designed, said MD Ian Matthews. Businessman Christo Wiese will step down as chairman and be succeeded by HCI CEO John Copelyn. Matthews said Mettle had “come of age” in the past few months. A rights issue in June boosted the company’s share capital from R5,1m on march 31 to R102,1m at the end of September. Part of the raised cash had been applied to the creation of a treasury division aimed at building in-house skills. Mettle executive director Gavin O’Connor said the company had R136m in cash but was not acquiring anything. Mettle recently acquired a 22stake in IQ Business Group for R4,9m. IQ Business Group focuses on the high-margin IT activities of consulting and outsourcing. Matthews said this was the first time Mettle’s management and staff had become the major shareholders. Mettle was committed to the pursuit of new opportunities in its niche markets.

Source: Business Day