Thursday, April 18, 2024

Oracle hunts for mergers and acquisitions in the region

Oracle, the computer software company, stated that it is aggressively pursuing some commercial acquisitions and mergers across the region as its half-year results ballooned beyond shareholders’ expectations.

At the same time, the company, which surprised the markets with P 6 million turn-over yearÔÇôonÔÇôyear, praised the former Botswana Telecommunication General Manager for his guided support as its new head.

“The board believes that Vincent Seretse’s knowledge of the ICT sector, experience in the developing new businesses and (his ability to) optimize the existing operations make him ideally suited to lead the group during the next phase of business development,” the statement released by the board said.

“There are some promising acquisitions and mergers within the region,” she said without going into details.

However, the company expressed disappointment with regard to its Kenyan operations which it said could not perform to expectation due to high tax levies that it faced from that country.
Seretse stood tall when the company released its annual results to the end of May 2008, where it recorded a turn-over of P 49.474 million against P 33,192 million in the previous year.

The company, whose business services have sprawled across the southern African region and eastern Africa, indicated that it had made its name by installing ICT infrastructure for the Kenyan Ministry of Finance. This, it said, led it to enter into negotiations with various partners locally and said it might come out with a windfall of P 12 million in contracts.

“The Botswana business has a strong domestic reputation and experience and, through the project of the Kenyan Ministry of Finance, has proven its ability to deliver the high quality service on a regional scale.

“RPC is currently negotiating pricing on a domestic contract worth in excess of P 12 million, whilst management is confident that the company enjoys the frontÔÇôrunner status in a number of other domestic tenders which are currently being evaluated by principals,” the company said in a statement.

Like-for-like, the company is boasting of some impressive results with operating profits up P 2.9 million compared to P 1 million last year while profit before tax was P3 million against P 1 million previously.

The new figures are aided by contracts which were sealed by Mompati Ngwako while he was till the head of the organization.
This includes the Kenya, Uganda and Zambian contracts which were sealed last year – or even before.

Uganda and Zambia added P 5.7 million, while contracts on consultancy increased by a whopping 44 percent in Zambia alone but on the Ugandan front they shrunk significantly over a comparable period.

“The strong capital management in revenue and greater focus on working capital management resulted in a much improved cash position at yearÔÇôend, with cash and equivalents amounting to P 9.4 million against P 5.4 million in the previous year. The group remains free of any external debt, with the full working capital investment of P10.9 million being financed from internal resources,” the company said in a statement.

“The group’s current economic model in these countries (Uganda and Zambia) requires significant contuining working capital investments even in periods when no revenue opportunities exist. Accordingly, directors have instructed management to review these businesses in order to maximize the group’s ability to unlock existing business potential while also miximising working capital commitments in these regions,” it added.

Further, the company warned that it expects margins from software sales and licensing support to remain under pressure for the foreseeable future and at the same time said shareholders would not be given any dividends.


Read this week's paper