Grey results defy trends offshore

June 2000 Security Services & Risk Management

Despite subdued performances at its offshore and African businesses, security services company Gray Security Services posted a 54% rise in headline earnings a share to 8,6c in the six months to 29 February, statements released in April showed.

Turnover for the interim period was 47% higher at R328,9 million.

Ole Wilk of Gray Management, said the Group's South African operations maintained margins for the period. But start-up costs at some of the African subsidiaries and a below expectation performance of the UK business dented overall operating margins. These businesses were expected to contribute to profits in the medium term.

On the international front, Gray operates in 11 countries and has, among others, Imperial Security Services in the UK and Miami-based Crime Prevention Security in the US. Executives indicated that they were scanning for other acquisitions, particularly in Eastern Europe and South America.

The African division operates in eight countries, including Mauritius, Tanzania, Namibia, Mozambique and Uganda.

Forensic investigations

Wilk said the group bought a majority shareholding in Investment Surveys, a local forensic investigations company, in September. This had not yet filtered through to interim numbers but had propped up the service range. No interim dividend was declared as Gray declares an annual dividend.

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