Ansys gets top share rating

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 21 Jan 2008

Ansys, the railway and defence technology company, has been rated the second best new listing on the JSE in 2007.

The company's share price appreciated 103% from its closing price of R1 a share on its listing day on 7 June to its closing price on the last day of trading on 31 December. The best performing new listing share was Raubex, which appreciated 167%.

"We know that Ansys is a good investment," says Ansys CEO Alan Holloway. "After all, we have our own money invested in the company. But we are happy to have been able to deliver this kind of value for our shareholders."

Ansys - with an annual turnover of R120 million - is primarily focused on the transport sector where it supplies automatic vehicle identification systems, train condition monitoring systems and Westinghouse Signalling systems. Major clients include Transnet Freight Rail (formerly Spoornet) and Metrorail.

It also supplies electronic equipment to the mining, power-generation and industrial sectors, and has several large contracts with armaments manufacturer Denel for electronic equipment.

The company reinvested the money raised through listing to make two key acquisitions in the past six months - the purchase of rail track signalling company Emerging Signals, for R15 million, and Optocon Systems, a supplier of infrared optical systems for the defence industry, both locally and abroad, for R14.5 million.

Future prospects

Holloway says other potential acquisitions are still under negotiation and details will be announced as soon as the acquisition agreements have been signed.

"The rail domain has treated us well," he says. "We are executing a number of very big contracts at the moment and we envisage that there will be a lot more in the pipeline. We are extremely pleased that government has realised the potential of the country's rail network and we are doing our best to help them exploit that potential to the full."

Holloway says the incorporation of additional signalling capacity into the business through the acquisition of Emerging Signals will allow Ansys to tender for more rail signalling work. He estimates the signalling market to be worth about R1 billion a year. "This represents a huge opportunity for us," he says.

Business from the defence industry, he says, has also doubled in the past few years. The company is currently producing components for state-owned arms-maker Denel for their new armoured vehicles and guided missile systems programmes.

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