On The Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- Organic and acquisitive growth have helped technology company Paracon post another set of strong figures showing all the arrows pointing upwards, and culminating in a dividend of 6c a share. The company has doubled its dividend from a year ago after showing a 46% rise in turnover from R366m to R533,4m and an attributable profit up 129% from R14,4m to R33m.Paracon also pushed up its profit margin to a respectable 7,3% from 6,5% for the year ending September 30, while headline earnings a share of 8,6c were up 45% from a year ago. Cash on hand stands at R112m, giving the company a surfeit of cash and justifying the 6c dividend. Shareholders did not express much enthusiasm, however, with the share gaining just 1c to trade at 103c last week after the results. This is the second year of solid results from Paracon, which has pulled back from a dismal year in 2003 by streamlining its operations to concentrate on its core competencies, making some acquisitions and strengthening its black empowerment profile.