Contribution to headline earnings 30 June
2021
R million
30 June
2020
R million
CIVH (435) (649)
Grindrod 16 (12)
SEACOM 26 (10)
Other 17 (45)
(376) (716)

Profile:

CIVH is active in the telecommunications and information technology sectors. The key operating companies of the group are Dark Fibre Africa Proprietary Limited (DFA) and Vumatel Proprietary Limited (Vumatel), which construct and own fibre-optic networks.

Corporate information

Equity valuation at 30 June 2021 R21 849 million
Chief Executive Officer of CIVH R S M Ndlovu
Remgro nominated directors C W Ceasar, P J Uys

Sustainability measures

CSI/Training spend R17 million
Number of employees 1 332
BBBEE status DFA: Level 2
Financial highlights Year ended 31 March 2021 
R million 
Revenue 4 759 28.5
Operating profit 648 32.0
Headline loss (797) 37.1

Community Investment Ventures Holdings Proprietary Limited (CIVH)

CIVH is active in the telecommunications and information technology sectors and is the holding company of a group of companies of which DFA and Vumatel are the largest operating subsidiaries.

DFA is the premier open-access fibre infrastructure and connectivity provider in South Africa. It builds, installs, manages and maintains a fibre network to transmit metro and long-haul telecommunications traffic, which is leased to its customers (telecommunication companies and internet service providers (ISPs)) using an open access wholesale commercial model. DFA has in excess of 13 200 km of fibre assets in the ground and owns fibre networks in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Midrand, Centurion and Pretoria, as well as in 24 smaller metros, such as East London, Polokwane, Tlokwe, Emalahleni and George, to name a few.

Vumatel is an open-access fibre provider at the last mile level and provides fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) products and services to ISPs. Vumatel installs FTTH in residential suburbs and has in excess of 27 500 km of fibre assets. After the fibre has been installed, Vumatel leases its infrastructure to ISPs, which in turn provide broadband retail internet services to the end customers.

CIVH has a March financial year-end and therefore its results for the 12 months ended 31 March 2021 have been included in Remgro’s results for the year under review. CIVH’s contribution to Remgro’s headline earnings for the year under review amounted to a loss of R435 million compared to a headline loss incurred of R649 million in the prior year. The losses contributed by CIVH have decreased as a result of a significant improvement in revenue, as well as an improvement in gross margins and lower interest costs, offset by an increase in depreciation charges.

The group generates healthy cash flows from operations, contributing R1.8 billion to a reinvestment in excess of R3.1 billion into expanding its operations and network footprint during the year.

CIVH issued share capital of R2.8 billion in January 2021 in terms of a rights issue. The capital was used to settle part of the CIVH holding company debt and inject capital into DFA and Vumatel in order to unlock an additional R2.5 billion of borrowing facilities, of which R1.5 billion was drawn down in the year. During July 2021, CIVH also completed a further rights issue to successfully raise R3.72 billion in equity to repay all its debt at the holding company level. This equity capital injection has strengthened CIVH’s capital structure and enables it to retain flexibility to capitalise on future opportunities.

Vumatel retained its position as the FTTH South African market leader in homes passed and active subscribers, achieving approximately 39% market share in both verticals. The business continues to successfully commercialise fibre into the lower Life Standard Measurement (LSM) areas under the Reach product offering, including a Reach pre-paid platform which has exceeded expectations on uptake. In addition to driving uptake on the current deployed infrastructure, key focus areas in the year continued to be the extension of its Active Ethernet and Gigabit Passive Optic Network (GPON) in Ekurhuleni and Cape Town while creating expansion capability into new Reach areas such as Mitchells Plain, Vosloorus and Soweto.

Vumatel group revenue for the period increased by 50% to R2.4 billion compared to the prior year, driven by subscriber uptake growth for the year.

DFA’s current book value of the fibre optic network is in excess of R9.8 billion. The network uptime for the year under review was maintained at 99.98%, and mean time to repair was less than 2.5 hours, well above industry standards. The DFA revenue model adapts to the customers’ needs, and DFA offers flexible payment profiles, with a mix of an upfront amount and a monthly annuity, or solely annuity based with multi-year contracts of mostly up to 15 years. The future value of the current annuity contracts (excluding orders) is in excess of R12.4 billion.

DFA group revenue for the financial year ended 31 March 2021 increased marginally year on year to R2 483 million (2020: R2 465 million) impacted by lower once-off revenue as a result of the impact of Covid-19 on the markets. Annuity income grew to in excess of R192 million per month at 31 March 2021 (31 March 2020: R179 million per month), with the majority thereof from long-term contracts with customers.

Vumatel continued to support its independent CSI Foundation, which has the objective of creating sustainable eco-systems in the communities in which the business operates in. The goal is to contribute meaningfully and sustainably to these communities leading to strong ties with communities that talk to the essence of the Vuma brand, a distinction that will set Vuma apart from the competition. Focus areas include education, safety, environment and healthcare. The business remains committed to the Vuma schools project, where 445 schools have been connected to date in areas where fibre has been deployed – providing every school that Vumatel passes with a free 1 Gbps service offering.

DFA retained their level 2 BBBEE rating for the year. Critical gaps in infrastructure development, e.g. rural school connectivity remain DFA’s ongoing key focus of CSI, enabling it to bridge the digital divide in high poverty areas. The positive impact is on providing student access to e-learning and ultimately, new job creation and access to the economy.

Profile:

Grindrod is an integrated freight logistics provider, moving cargo by road, rail, sea, and air, providing integrated logistical and specialised services en route, using specialised assets and infrastructure, including vehicles, locomotives, ports, terminals, warehouses and depots. Grindrod also owns Grindrod Bank, an investment bank providing bespoke financial services to private, corporate and institutional clients.

Corporate information

Market cap at 30 June 2021 R3 265 million
Listed on the JSE Limited
Chief Executive Officer A G Waller
Remgro nominated directors P J Uys, W O van Wyk (alternate)

Sustainability measures

CSI/Training spend R8 million
Number of employees 4 330
BBBEE status Level 2
Environmental aspect Scope 1 and 2 emissions of 156 200 tonnes CO2e
Financial highlights Year ended
31 December 2020 
R million
%
Revenue 3 751 (2.2)
Operating loss (193) (651.4)
Headline loss (168) (9.8)

Grindrod Limited (Grindrod)

Grindrod has a December year-end and therefore its results for the 12 months to 30 June 2021 have been included in Remgro’s results for the year under review. The company’s contribution to Remgro’s headline earnings for the year under review amounted to a loss of R16 million (2020: a loss of R12 million).

Grindrod’s core businesses recovered well in the second half to deliver a good result for the 12 months ended 31 December 2020 (the period), made possible since many of the businesses were categorised as essential services under the Covid-19 regulations.

Overall Ports and Terminals matched its 2019 EBITDA, despite the volume decline across the businesses mainly due to the weaker rand. The Group’s agility and strategy focusing on the corridor approach have enabled these businesses to report good earnings.

Maputo Port achieved earnings growth of 18% on 2019 as it benefited from a weaker rand against the USA dollar, offsetting the impact of the 13% decline in volumes to 18.4 million tonnes. The port demonstrated resilience and a commendable recovery during the last quarter of the period with improvements in daily trucking activity and railway efficiencies into Mozambique. Work continues to ensure that this performance is sustained.

Matola Terminal’s improved tariffs and cost management mitigated the decline in volume. The terminal achieved 5.5 million tonnes, with 10% higher volumes in the second half of the period compared to the first half.

The coastal shipping, container depots and multi-purpose terminal businesses achieved earnings growth of 15% on 2019. This was on the back of increased shipping activities, a buoyant citrus season and strong mineral volumes. The business continues to focus on expanding its footprint in line with customer demand.

Grindrod Bank delivered a profitable result in a challenging market. The bank focused on its client relationships. Quality lending during the period ensured it retained a strong capital position and liquidity. The advances have been appropriately assessed to ensure that adequate provisions for expected credit losses are in place.

Profile:

SEACOM’s heritage stems from creating a connected Africa. SEACOM was instrumental in bringing Africa into the digital world as the first telecommunications provider to deliver the first independent fibre connection to the continent. With a future-focused mindset and continuous investments in digital platforms, systems, and people, the company has transformed into a converged telecommunications provider and continues to serve the wholesale and enterprise markets in Southern and East Africa.

Corporate information

Equity valuation at 30 June 2021 R2 663 million
Unlisted
Chief Executive Officer O Fortuin
Remgro nominated directors H J Carse, P J Uys

Sustainability measures

CSI/Training spend $0.3 million
Number of employees 307
Financial highlights
SEACOM is a private company and its detailed financial information is not disclosed due to restrictions on disclosure as agreed among its shareholders.

SEACOM Capital Limited (SEACOM)

Remgro has an effective economic interest of 30% in SEACOM, a converged telecommunications provider which operates and markets fibre-optic connectivity, internet, voice, cloud and security solutions to the wholesale and enterprise markets in Southern and East Africa.

SEACOM has a December year-end and therefore its results for the 12 months to 30 June 2021 have been included in Remgro’s results for the year under review. SEACOM’s contribution to Remgro’s headline earnings for the year under review amounted to a profit of R26 million (2020: R10 million loss).

There has been an increased demand in the use of data and cloud services driven by changes in work methods associated with Covid-19. SEACOM’s ability to adapt to the rapidly evolving data market and invest in its submarine, terrestrial network and cloud infrastructure allow it to respond to an ever-increasing demand for faster and more reliable data services and is critical to maintain its ongoing competitive positioning. Some key highlights in this regard include the recent acquisition of a metro fibre business in Kenya and concluding the deal to acquire a fibre pair on Google’s Equiano cable in 2021.

SEACOM’s ongoing investments in network infrastructure enables new technologies that supports their customers global ambitions. As part of a new five-year strategy plan, and with local and international partnerships, Seacom will bring best-of-breed services and solutions to their customers. Organic growth and acquisitions in the year under review have contributed to SEACOM’s continued growth and will continue to fuel the newly approved five-year business plan.

Grindrod Shipping Holdings Limited (Grindrod Shipping)

Profile:

Grindrod Shipping is an international shipping company that owns, charters-in and operates a fleet of drybulk carriers and owns one medium-range tanker.

Website www.grinshipping.com

Energy Exchange of Southern Africa

Profile:

The Energy Exchange of Southern Africa facilitates the transfer of energy between those who produce it and those who consume it.

Website www.energyexchangesa.com