Business News 8.9.2016 10:08 am

Oakbay revenue rises by 7%

Supplied picture

Supplied picture

‘I honestly believe that we are a force for good in this country,’ the chief executive says.

Oakbay Investments on Thursday reported a 7% annual increase in its revenue for the year ended in February, and sought to dispel perceptions that it relied heavily on government contracts.

The Gupta family-owned investment firm with interests in mining, technology and media, said government contracts only accounted for 8.9% of the group’s revenue.

Group revenue increased by 7% to 2.62 billion, compared to 2.44 billion last year.

Mining, the group’s biggest division, contributed R1.17 billion, or 44.5%, of revenue.

‘Following the herd is not what Oakbay is about, and we do things slightly differently.’

The group said the largest company in this division was JIC Mining Services, a loss-making business prior to Oakbay’s acquisition in 2006. Oakbay said JIC had never had a government contract.

Oakbay said the Brakfontein coalmine, a supplier to Eskom, was the first time any Oakbay business had mined coal and was a major milestone for the group.

For the period to February, Oakbay said Brakfontein supplied 1.49 million tonnes of coal to Eskom.

“This constituted just 1.25% of Eskom’s total coal supply. Oakbay’s 29% share in Tegeta equates to 0.43 million tonnes of supply and just 0.36% of Eskom’s total coal supply. This coal was sold to Eskom at a rate of R270 a ton,” Oakbay said.

‘We’ve been around for 20 years now in South Africa, and in that time have grown from just eight employees to almost 8 000 today.’

Sahara was the second highest contributor to the group reporting R1.1 billion, or 44% of revenue. Oakbay said Sahara also did not have any government contracts, following a deliberate decision taken by its board in 2008.

Oakbay Investments chief executive Nazeem Howa said he was proud to share with wider audiences some insight into Oakbay’s business model, strategy and turnover levels.

“I hope this will help audiences understand our operations and dispel some of the myths that have been built up about our group – especially the myth that we are heavily reliant on government business, when nothing could be further from the truth,” Howa said.

“Following the herd is not what Oakbay is about, and we do things slightly differently. We seek to disrupt industries, and this makes us unpopular among the establishment. We also take a long-term perspective on opportunities. This is all done with two goals in mind: profit and job creation, which we believe are equally important.”

Oakbay also said its media businesses, The New Age and ANN7, were profitable, and through innovative new platforms, such as the TNA Business Breakfast with SABC and ANN7’s SA Decides programmes, both have grown revenue from a mix of government and private sector advertising and sponsorships.

“We’ve been around for 20 years now in South Africa, and in that time have grown from just eight employees to almost 8 000 today. I honestly believe that we are a force for good in this country, and we look forward to continuing to grow our business and create more jobs for our country – it is what South Africa desperately needs,” Howa said.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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