Thursday, December 15, 2005

For the year ended 30 September 2005, the Group profit before tax increased by 6% from Rs597m to Rs632m, while earnings per share amounted to Rs19.70 compared to Rs16.51 in 2004 (i.e an increase of 19%).  However, excluding exceptional items, the Group pre tax profits dropped by 4% from Rs533m to Rs512m, and earnings per share amounted to Rs15.39 compared to Rs15.61 in 2004.


On the operating side, the combined pre tax profits of the three autonomous divisions dropped by 13% from Rs505m to Rs440m (see Segment Analysis).  The explanations are given below.


Leisure & Logistics

In the Leisure & Logistics division, the Incoming, Aviation & Travel services and the Shipping sub-divisions recorded better results due mainly to:

·         Increased revenues in the Incoming sector, coupled with the reorganisation of the fleet operations and a tighter cost monitoring,

·         In the Aviation & Travel services, the strong performance of the overseas representations and the ground handling operations, and

·         In the Shipping sector, increased transhipment activities and higher freight rates.


However, the improved performance of these sub-divisions was more than absorbed by (a)the start-up losses of the new hotel, Heritage Golf & Spa Resort, launched in October 2004 and (b)the lower results of the Freight Forwarding & Logistics sub-division due to substantial exchange gains recorded last year following the devaluation of the Malagasy currency.

The loss recorded by the Heritage in its first year of operation is above in line with initial projections.   The current visibility indicates that this new hotel will become the main income earner amongst the Group’s hotels.  The other hotels of the Group continued to perform well, with Marina as the main driver..

The pre tax profits of this division amounted to Rs180m compared to Rs249m in 2004.


International & Financial Services

The profit before tax of the International & Financial Services division increased from Rs158m to Rs213m, despite (a)the exceptional costs incurred on duty-paid stocks following the reduction of custom duties on a large number of electrical appliances, and (b)the substantial expenditure incurred for the launch of a new factoring service and the accreditation of the Rogers card by MasterCard. This marked performance was mainly driven by the better results of:

·         the Insurance sector due to the absence of major cyclones and fires during the year,

·         the Offshore Management sector where the benefits of the integration of the business acquired in 2003 are now being reaped, and

·         the Call Centre activities, to which the Joint venture with AXA Assistance Germany has brought a more constant flow of business.



The pre tax profits of the Distribution division for the year 2005 amounted to Rs47m compared to Rs98m in 2004.  Profits decreased in all sectors, in particular:

·         the Building Materials sector which was affected by lower sales volumes following selling price hikes, growing imports from Egypt & South Africa, and the non-recurrence of large infrastructural projects,

·         the Agrochemicals sector where sales to the sugar industry were reduced due to the new growing techniques implemented by that industry, and

·         the Fast Moving Consumer Goods sector which was affected by the extremely competitive conditions prevailing in this market and the loss during the year of the representation of some agencies.

Measures, including joint venture with foreign partners, have already been initiated to restore the profitability of these businesses.


Other Investments

The other Group investments performed better in 2005 compared to 2004, in particular:

  • the Property portfolio, with additional revenues generated mainly by an increase in both occupancy and rental charges,

  • higher income from investments (mainly New Mauritius Hotels), and

  • lower financial charges and a reduction in the costs of centrally provided services.


Exceptional Items

The exceptional profits in 2005 arose mainly from the disposal of:

  • the Group's interests in a number of activities in the ex-Engineering cluster together with a plot of land at Roche Bois owned by Transworld Cargo Ltd,

  • 20% of the group interest in the Rogers Cargo services, and

  • a plot of land in the port area by one of our associated companies.



A final dividend of Rs4.50 per share was declared in September 2005 (Rs4.50 per share in 2004), bringing the total dividend for 2005 to Rs7.50 per share (Rs7.00 per share in 2004).



The Group budgets for 2006 are encouraging, and provided that current conditions in both the local and overseas environment prevail, the Group operational results should show reasonable growth over those of last year.


By order of the Board

14 December 2005


These financial statements are issued pursuant to listing rule 12.20.


The Board of Directors accepts full responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained in these financial statements.