On The Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- JSE-listed software company InfoWave has reported solid interim results for the first half of the 2007 fiscal year, ended 31 August 2007. The company has reported top-line growth of 5.5%, with revenues climbing to R27.4 million compared with R25.96 million in the comparable period in fiscal 2006. Headline profit for the six-month period was R3.1 million, up 16% from R2.6 million for the same period last year, while headline earnings per share grew from 3,05 cents to 3.55. The company has a strong balance sheet, and has paid out its fifth successive annual dividend. It will continue to focus on a combination of organic and acquisitive growth. ApplyIT, in which InfoWave acquired a majority share 18 months ago, registered a minor loss for the reporting period. It is very close to profitability, and having secured half a dozen new blue-chip clients in the first half year, it is expected to be a positive contributor to the group in the future. Associated company Adapt-IT, a public sector specialist, had its best year to date, growing profits by 24% and adding R370,000 to group profits.

- Portugal Telecom (PT) has sold 90% of its stake in a non-operational wireless licensee in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to an unnamed buyer, claiming the business model it had planned for the African country is ‘no longer applicable’.

- David Redshaw, Chief Executive Officer of Bytes, said that the group has, in line with its strategy, grown the contribution of its international component significantly during the period under review with revenues increasing to 46% from 25% and operating profits increasing to 30% from 16%.

- Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, controller of Egypt-based telecoms holding company Weather Investments, has confirmed that he is negotiating the sale of a 10%-12% stake in the company to one of a number of interested private equity firms, which include Apax and Blackstone, reports the Wall Street Journal. Sawiris told the paper that he hopes to reach a deal by the end of the year, to raise as much as EUR1.2 billion (USD1.7 billion) to reduce debt or to pursue potential acquisitions in France (Bouygues Telecom), or Indonesia.

- The public sale of Sh30 billion worth of Kenyan mobile operator Safaricom’s shares is on after a judge dismissed a case seeking to block it