We have extracted the Chairman’s Statement from the 2019 half year report for Afinitas Limited (AFS.bw), listed on the Botswana Stock exchange:
Afinitas Limited is a pan African investment holding company focused on developing a portfolio of African focused businesses. The Directors of Afinitas are pleased to provide shareholders with this report on the operational and financial performance of the group for the 6 month period ended 30 June 2019.
Update on Operations
The operating entities within the Afinitas Group comprise Africa Events Limited, Adventis Limited, and Ethiopia Investments Limited. In addition, Afinitas holds a 9.6% stake in Icecap Trust Holdings Limited. Adventis Limited (Adventis), a 66% owned specialist investment management company focusing on the African continent. Adventis’ investment team includes some of the most experienced and successful investment managers in Africa. The company is looking to offer pan African equity and income funds to investors interested in increasing their exposure to Africa, one of the fastest growing parts of the world economically. Our belief is that African debt and equity products are looking increasingly attractive from both a valuation and risk perspective relative to alternative investments in the developed world. During the period under review the company decided not to progress with the niche Africa Financial Sector Deepening Fund due to a lack of interest in local currency investment. The management will continue to focus on growing the Adventis Africa Enhanced Income Strategy and the Adventis Africa Equity Strategy. Africa Events Limited (AEL), a 50% owned event management company focused on promoting trade and investment into and with Africa. AEL hosted the 7th “AFSIC – Investing in Africa” conference in London in May 2019. AFSIC is rapidly becoming one of the most important Africa trade and investment events globally and has become a major conduit of investment into Africa. It attracts many of the continent’s most important investors, dealmakers and corporate leaders. AFSIC 2019 showed strong growth in delegate numbers and revenue. Planning for AFSIC 2020 has started and management believes that the event will continue to grow in importance within the Africa investment universe.
Ethiopia Investments Limited (EIL), owns 90% of EQOS Services (EQOS) which is the first foreign owned Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company in Ethiopia. Ethiopia is an attractive destination for BPO as it has a talented pool of educated, motivated and skilled youth. EQOS is still in the early stages of development but has established a suite of both international and local clients for whom it is undertaking outsourced IT services.
Icecap Trust Holdings Limited (Icecap). Afinitas has a 9.6% stake in Icecap, a company based in Jersey that provides trust, company and administration services. The company is in the early stages of development and is progressing well. Icecap continues to win mandates and is actively discussing the provision of services with a number of additional parties.
The unaudited Interim Financial Statements have been reviewed by Grant Thornton, Botswana. Key highlights for the period are:
- Revenue for the 6 month period compared to the same period the year before increased 64% in USD from $683k to $1.12m.
- Operating Expenses for the 6 month period compared to the same period the year before increased by only 11% in USD from $1.23m to $1.36m.
- The loss for the 6 month period reduced by 69% to $159k compared to a loss of $507k in the same period in the prior year.
- The group has $4.67m in cash.
- Other financial assets have increased by $594k since 31st December 2018. The majority of the increase is due to an additional investment of $362k in the Adventis Africa Equity Strategy.
The Directors are pleased to note the continued strong growth in group revenue. Your group is well placed to benefit from an expected increase in interest in Africa as an investment destination. The financial performance of the group reflects the fact that many of Afinitas’ portfolio companies are early stage and substantial embryonic costs are incurred in the early years, while recurrent revenue sources take time to develop. The Directors of Afinitas expect revenue growth to continue to be strong in future years while costs are forecast to grow at a lower rate than revenue growth. The result of this would be a continued move towards sustainable and growing profitability.
Lesang Magang Rupert