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Long4Life posts first-half profit, but no dividend

As asset acquisitions became effective, lifting group sales.

Investment firm Long4Life swung into a trading profit in the half-year to end August, it said on Wednesday, as asset acquisitions became effective, lifting group sales.

The firm, owned by Brian Joffe, one of South Africa’s most respected dealmakers, has acquired among other brands retailer Sportsmans Warehouse, salon group Sorbet and Chill Beverages since its listing last year.

Long4Life reported a first-half trading profit of R178 million versus a loss of R4.9 million in the six months ending September 2017. The company has changed its financial year since listing.

None of Long4Life’s acquisitions had become effective in the earlier period, rendering the two largely incomparable, it added.

At 0715 GMT shares in Long4Life were up 2.99% to R4.48, versus a 0.3% drop in the Johannesburg All Share Index.

Its sport and recreation division, which includes Sportsmans Warehouse, Outdoor Warehouse and Performance Brands, contributed 60% of the group’s revenue and 64% of trading profit before central expenses in the period.

“While the existing portfolio has substantial potential, the group’s cash resources of around R1 billion, strong balance sheet and the gearing optionality derived from cash-generating businesses provide a basis for further acquisitions,” the firm said.

“These are continually being assessed and anticipated to lead to the addition of exciting new opportunities.”

Long4Life, which focuses predominantly on lifestyle businesses, reported group revenue of R1.5 billion in the period, while headline earnings per share rose 52% to 16 cents from 10.55 cents in the half-year ending September 2017.

The firm did not declare an interim dividend, it said, as the board has decided to continue paying dividends on an annual basis until it is fully invested. 

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