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Trustco emerges limping after extremely difficult trading year

Trustco emerges limping after extremely difficult trading year

Trustco’s Group Chief Executive, Dr Quinton van Rooyen, will have his hands full explaining to shareholders in September why the recession had such an extraordinary large impact on the group and its subsidiaries.

The Trustco group has taken a major knock in the previous financial year with headline earning slashed by more than half. Whereas the group posted headline earnings of N$543 million in 2016/17, that figure came down to a paltry N$205 million in 2017/18.

Trustco Group Holdings Ltd this week released its audited annual financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2018. The consolidated and separate statements reflect the current financial and long-term investment positions of the group and of the listed company, TGH Ltd. Trustco is listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange as a diversified financial services company with a secondary listing on the Namibian Stock Exchange.

The group’s revenue dropped from around N$1.25 billion in 16/17 to just over N$800 million. With cost of sales increasing by 31%, it left the group with a gross profit of only N$527 million. After accounting for the usual operational and investment expenditures and income, the group posted a profit before tax of N$242 million. This was aided in no small measure by a N$32 million tax windfall, leaving the group with a profit of N$274 million. Further loss provisions totalling roughly N$28 million reduced this figure to N$246 million, indicated as the total comprehensive income for the year.

The biggest drop in revenue came from property sales which took a N$600 million knock, offset only partially by the N$275 million income from diamond sales. Trustco has never before received income from diamonds and the windfall came after it obtained a 50% stake in Meya Mining in Sierra Leone.

“The year in review was in essence a consolidation phase for the group, with no new debt raised. Bulk servicing on properties in the land bank continued apace, which will enhance the group’s cash generating ability in the year ahead. The investment into the resources segment have produced encouraging results and has the ability to increase the cash resources of the group significantly,” the directors stated.

Despite its diversity, Trustco is still overly reliant on income from its flagship entity, Legal Shield having received N$1.2 billion from selling a 20% stake in Legal Shield to Risco Value Fund LP. Trustco’s combined liabilities come to just under N$2 billion, down from N$2.8 billion in the previous financial year.

Yet, 2017/18 has proven to be an exceptionally tough year. “The group has an estimated tax loss of NAD 867.3 million (2017: NAD 705.7 million) available for set-off against future taxable income. The company has a tax loss of NAD 206.8 million (2017: NAD 246.1 million) available for set-off against future taxable income. Deferred tax was not raised for the tax losses of NAD 651.7 million and NAD 86.1 (2017: NAD 489.7 million and NAD 42.4 million) for the group and the company respectively,” Trustco stated in the new financials.

Notwithstanding the tough trading environment, Trustco remains a major employer, having contributed some N$180 million to the local economy through staff salaries. This spend is up from N$151 million in 2016/17 showing that the group’s overall wagebill grew by just over 19%.

On Tuesday, Trustco announced its JSE sponsoring broker, Sasfin Capital, has resigned. In its stead have been appointed Vunani Corporate Finance as equity sponsor and Merchantec as debt sponsor. The appointments are effective 01 August 2018.

On Thursday morning, Trustco shares took a dive on the JSE as investors digested the full impact of the financial results. The share, TTO, shed more than 7% of its value in only two large trades reducing the company’s market cap to N$6.8 billion. At R8-20 per share, it is about 32% less than its 52-week high of R12-00, but still 116% higher than the 52-week low of R3-80.

The annual general meeting of shareholders is scheduled for 20 September 2018 at the company’s head office in Windhoek. No dividend has been declared.


About The Author

Daniel Steinmann

Brief CV of Daniel Steinmann. Born 24 February 1961, Johannesburg. Educated at the University of Pretoria: BA, BA(hons), BD. Postgraduate degrees are in Philosophy and Divinity. Editor of the Namibia Economist since 1991. Daniel Steinmann has steered the Economist as editor for the past 29 years. The Economist started as a monthly free-sheet, then moved to a weekly paper edition (1996 to 2016), and on 01 December 2016 to a daily digital newspaper at It is the first Namibian newspaper to go fully digital. Daniel Steinmann is an authority on macro-economics having established a sound record of budget analysis, strategic planning and assessing the impact of policy formulation. For eight years, he hosted a weekly talk-show on NBC Radio, explaining complex economic concepts to a lay audience in a relaxed, conversational manner. He was a founding member of the Editors' Forum of Namibia. Over the years, he has mentored hundreds of journalism students as interns and as young professional jourlists. He regularly helps economics students, both graduate and post-graduate, to prepare for examinations and moderator reviews. He is the Namibian respondent for the World Economic Survey conducted every quarter for the Ifo Center for Business Cycle Analysis and Surveys at the University of Munich in Germany. He is frequently consulted by NGOs and international analysts on local economic trends and developments. Send comments to

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.