African investment firm Lonrho saw top-line growth across all of its divisions in the final three months of 2011, capping a year in which management focused on developing each division's infrastructure.
Revenue in the final quarter of 2012 rose 67% to £46.1m from £27.5m a year earlier, with like-for-like (LFL) sales growth of 30.2%.
The Transportation division (airline Fly540) was the star performer, more than doubling sales on a LFL basis, but even the group's biggest division, Agribusiness, achieved a very creditable 15.4% increase in LFL sales, and now accounts for more than half of group revenues.
Subscribe to MoneyWeek
Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE
The Infrastructure division saw LFL sales grow 30.2%, despite several proposed drilling projects in the waters of the Gulf of Guinea being delayed.
The Hotels arm grew LFL sales by 4.5% and the Support Services unit boosted LFL sales by 38.3% from a year earlier, with growth driven by Lonrho IT, its information technology unit.
Net operating profit for the quarter was £0.7m on continuing operations, compared to a £3.0m loss in the same period in the prior year. After taking a £4.3m impairment charge reflecting a lower valuation of its investment in Lonrho Mining Limited, the group made a loss before tax of £2.8m.
Net assets at December 31st 2011 stood at £155.7m. At September 30th 2011 the comparative figure was £151.6m.
Cash balances held at December 31st 2011 totalled £12.7m, compared to £14.6m at September 30th 2011.
The group said it has started 2012 encouragingly, with important new business wins across all divisions.
"Having completed the company's strategic investment programme, each operating division is well aligned to service the expansion in demand from the growth in emerging Africa and now has the necessary infrastructure and platforms in place to deliver strong growth and improved margins for 2012 and beyond," claimed Lonrho's Executive Chairman, David Lenigas.
The company has not declared a dividend this time round but plans to start doing so in 2013.
Bitcoin hits new heights - is now a good time to invest?
The value of Bitcoin has surged to a 20-month high. Why is Bitcoin rising and is now a good time to invest?
By Vaishali Varu Published
Gold hits record high - could it soar higher next year?
The yellow metal has hit a new all-time high. We look at market expectations for 2024, whether investors should sell and take profits, and how to invest in gold.
By Ruth Emery Published