EOH reaches critical mass

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In its 10th year on the JSE, EOH says it is now well positioned to weather the global economic turmoil.

While many companies are waiting out the worldwide economic downturn, EOH is looking to expand its services on an international level, said CEO Asher Bohbot, speaking at the release of the company's final results, for the year ended 31 July 2008, yesterday.

"Our view is that the world is becoming more globalised than ever, and why shouldn't we capitalise on that?" he added.

Bohbot said that, while there are concerns for the market both globally and locally with SA's current highly political climate, ICT will remain a strong industry. "IT is something you can't just drop. It has become the underlying structure of business and, even if things are bad, people will still need IT and IT services."

The company says 10 years of solid growth gave it the opportunity to stay strong, no matter how turbulent markets become. With the company's revenue up by 35.1%, from R703 million to R951 million, Bohbot said: "There is no reason to be afraid of what is happening around us."

The company is trading close to the billion-rand mark, which Bohbot said represents critical mass. "We can now confidently compete with anyone in this market. There should be no contract that will be too big for us."

The company has solidified its cash on hand substantially since the same period last year, up from R114 million to R119 million. Deputy CEO Lucky Khumalo says this has been one of the company's highlights.

"The cash is both a safety net for whatever times lie ahead, or alternatively can be put into acquisitions if we spot a lucrative opportunity."

The company says the cash in the bank is also going to be positively affected by the current high interest rates.

Khumalo says the company has worked hard over the year to boost its empowerment credentials. Equity BEE shareholding currently sits at 34.3% and the company has 51% black representation on its board.

"Most significantly, the preferential procurement is now at 70% empowered. We are undergoing the rating process at the moment, so our actual empowerment figure has not yet been released. However, we are confident it will be good."

The company reported revenue of R950 million, up 35.1%. Profit before taxation was up 26.4%, to R91 million, and headline earnings per share were up to 96.8c, an increase of 22.9%.

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Candice Jones
ITWeb online telecoms editor

Candice Jones is an online telecoms editor with a focus on telecoms. She loves line speeds that go up and call rates that go down.

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