New initiatives are under way in each of the operations, with the focus on maximising revenue while ensuring that cost bases are appropriate and operating efficiencies are maximised. Bytes Systems Integration produced improved results but continues to operate at very low margins, while Bytes Universal Systems had a slow first half, falling short of its potential. These two businesses are in the process of being combined under a new managing director. Altech Netstar Altech Netstar had a strong performance, reporting a 12% increase in revenue and 6% improvement in EBITDA against the prior corresponding period. Consumer gross connections grew by 32%, while fleet management's gross connections grew by 9%. Altech Netstar saw some benefit from its recently acquired Australian business EZY2C as it further diversifies its income streams in line with Altron's strategy to increase off-shore earnings. The business is accelerating its focus into telematics and fleet management using the intellectual property from the Pinpoint acquisition. Arrow Altech Distribution Arrow Altech Distribution's revenue was down 6% impacted by the stronger rand, with EBITDA decreasing by 12.5%. In challenging economic conditions, the business maintained its leading component distributor position in this market, holding onto the significant gains made in the prior year. The business continues to strategically align itself with its international partner, Arrow Electronics Inc, in introducing new initiatives to diversify revenue streams. Discontinued operations Altech Multimedia Altech UEC delivered a good performance, increasing revenue by 6% and generating R47 million of EBITDA compared to the R17 million in the prior period. This improved performance is a reflection of reasonable manufacturing volumes, a more stable foreign exchange environment, and the benefits of some of the restructuring of previous periods. Altech Autopage The final close-out of the disposal for Altech Autopage is progressing well, with the collection of the debtors' books continuing in line with expectations. Powertech Meaningful progress has been made with regard to the disposal of the remaining Powertech businesses. Powertech Batteries was disposed of effective from 1 July 2017, whilst Powertech System Integrators was sold effective 1 August 2017. Powertech Quadpro, Powertech Switchgear and Swanib Cables were sold after the balance sheet date. We are awaiting Competition Commission approval for the Crabtree disposal, while Powertech Transformers remains in the Powertech stable at this time. The results for the period have been influenced by a further restructuring exercise at Powertech Transformers as well as the closure of the Powertech head office. DIRECTORATE Messrs MC Berzack, JRD Modise and SN Susman retired from the Altron board as non-executive directors and from the relevant committees with effect from 31 May 2017. Messrs BW Dawson and SW van Graan were appointed as non-executive directors of Altron with effect from 1 June 2017. Mr Dawson has been appointed to the Altron Investment Committee, while Mr Van Graan serves on the Altron Audit Committee, Risk Management Committee, Social and Ethics Committee and Investment Committee. Our new board has brought expertise and relevant experience to our various deliberations and are playing an active part in supporting the executive team. OUTLOOK The focus of the remainder of the current financial year is to position the group to deliver on its growth targets going forward by completing the process of focusing the group squarely into the ICT sector and completing the restructuring and realignment exercises. Conditions remain challenging in the South African economy but we remain confident that our continuing operations will generate growth over the prior period. Our recent investments into international markets are aligned with the strategic intention to geographically diversify earnings, with a focus on businesses with a high element of annuity income, and these should make a contribution to the second half of the year. The closing out of the disposal of the remaining non-core assets remains a priority in order to release further capital to strengthen the balance sheet and enable further investment in the core ICT assets. Much has been achieved in the first half of the financial year and the board is confident that the group is well positioned to complete its initiatives for the current financial year. On behalf of the board Mike Leeming Chairman Mteto Nyati Chief Executive Alex Smith Chief Financial Officer 26 October 2017 Board of directors Non-executive Mr MJ Leeming, Mr AC Ball, Mr BW Dawson, Mr GG Gelink, Dr PM Maduna, Ms DNM Mokhobo, Mr S Sithole(#), Mr SW van Graan, Dr WP Venter, Mr RE Venter Executive Mr M Nyati (Chief Executive), Mr AMR Smith(##) (#)Zimbabwean, (##)British Secretaries Altron Management Services Proprietary Limited - Mr WK Groenewald (Group Company Secretary) Sponsor Investec Bank Date: 26/10/2017 08:00:00 Produced by the JSE SENS Department. The SENS service is an information dissemination service administered by the JSE Limited ('JSE'). The JSE does not, whether expressly, tacitly or implicitly, represent, warrant or in any way guarantee the truth, accuracy or completeness of the information published on SENS. The JSE, their officers, employees and agents accept no liability for (or in respect of) any direct, indirect, incidental or consequential loss or damage of any kind or nature, howsoever arising, from the use of SENS or the use of, or reliance on, information disseminated through SENS.