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Cartrack’s prisoner-tracking tech gaining traction

Used in Singapore, hopefully SA too.
Zak Calisto, CEO of Cartrack Holdings.

JOHANNESBURG – Cartrack is using its tracking software to track prisoners in Singapore and will tender its solution when the South African government issues a call for this type of technology, says CEO, Zak Calisto.

Having recently been invited by Interpol to showcase this technology to 70 countries, the vehicle tracking and fleet management company is now in discussions with eight interested jurisdictions, Calisto told Moneyweb on Monday, after the release of Cartrack’s maiden full-year results since it listed on the JSE main board in December.

Cartrack listed 60 million shares at R8.50 a share – a 15% discount to the lower end of its offer price range at the time. Management holds 80% of the company.

Nearly 349 000 shares traded on Monday, with the share price closing at R9.02 a share.

Commenting on the complexity of managing its prisoner-tracking software, Calisto explained that court orders differ from person to person, so that the platform needs to be almost individually programmed. “The system knows where each prisoner is and is not allowed to go and will make sure the individual is compliant,” Calisto said.

In Singapore – where a sophisticated Home Detention Scheme (HDS) enables certain offenders to wear tracking devices and serve part of their sentence outside prison in an effort to reintegrate them into society – Cartrack manages the system and has a direct link to the police, should a prisoner break the conditions of their parole.

With overcrowding a serious problem in South Africa’s prisons, a similar house arrest-type scheme, where prisoners are closely monitored and controlled as in Singapore, could be an option for less serious offenders.

Cartrack pays R2m for unrecovered vehicles

Alongside being awarded a prison tracking tender by the Singapore government, Cartrack opened new offices in Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Philippines in the year under review. It believes the number of vehicles and underdeveloped telematics market offers significant opportunity in Asia.

Calisto said Cartrack paid clients approximately R2 million over the year as a result of its recovery warranty, which guarantees a paying subscriber a R150 000 payout when their vehicle is not recovered and there has been no fraud involved.

Cartrack boasted an audited recovery rate of 93% for the 12 months to February 2015, recovering a record number of vehicles valued at more than R450 million.

Calisto estimates that about 20% of South Africa’s 10-million strong vehicle population have tracking devices of some kind. “We predict this will go to 50% in the next five years,” he says.

More than half of Cartrack’s business now comes from fleet management, as opposed to stolen vehicle recovery. Calisto said the “real growth” is coming from small businesses and corporates looking to optimise their fleets and workforce. “Businesses want fleet management. It was a hard sell a few years ago, now it’s nearly an order taking environment,” he said.

Cartrack’s overall subscriber base grew 24% to more than 430 000 units in the period under review – a growth of 105% over a four-year period. International expansion increased the percentage of non-South African revenue from 17% in 2014 to 26% in 2015.

At R843.7 million, Cartrack’s revenue grew 32% but came in slightly below its forecast for the 12 months to end February 2015. Operating profit grew 16% to R298.9 million, higher than what was forecast in its pre-listing statement.

Cartrack declared a final dividend of 30 cents a share.

“Robust profit growth and commensurate dividend growth is expected for 2016, supported by the new technological and service offerings we expect to bring to market in 2016,” Calisto said.


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