The South African tech billionaire you’ve probably never heard of

Cartrack is a local success story. The company is a global provider of fleet management, stolen vehicle recovery and insurance telematics services – but it is in South Africa, amid high crime rates, that it really comes into its own.

Results from its most recent reporting period – the year ended February 2018 – showed that Cartrack’s subscriber numbers grew by a whopping 25%, to 751,380. Subscription revenue, meanwhile, climbed 19% to R1.166 billion.

The South Africa segment delivered particularly strong results, Cartrack said. Subscription revenue increased by 18% year on year while subscribers grew 26% over the same period.

Having only commenced operations in 2004, Cartrack listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange  in 2014.

An extensive footprint is already well established in Africa, Europe and South East Asia; more recently, operations have been opened in America and New Zealand and the company now employs as many as 2,000 people.

The man behind Cartrack’s success, is co-founder and chief executive, Zak Calisto, who – thanks to his shares in the company – can also count himself on the country’s list of billionaires.

According to the group’s annual integrated report, published on Friday, Calisto continues to be rewarded for Cartrack’s rise. He took home a relatively modest total pay package of R3.3 million for the year ended February 2018. This compares to a much higher median average for chief executives who run JSE-listed companies.

The group’s chief financial officer, John Edmeston, took home the higher pay package of R3.9 million, largely due to his bonus of R1.7 million. Calisto’s bonus was only R201,000.

In its reporting, Cartrack also included the proposed salaries for its executives for the 2019 financial year, showing no increase from 2018.

In total, the group paid a total of R9.6 million to five executive and non-executive directors.

Calisto’s wealth is derived from his significant shareholding in Cartrack, which is at 203,980,424 shares – or 68% of the total shareholding.

With Cartrack shares trading at R17.00 (29 June), this means Calisto is worth at least R3.47 billion.

Cartrack performance

For its full year results to February 2018, Cartrack reported an operating profit of R434 million, from R369 million before.

Additional highlights:

  • EBITDA of R652 million, up 25%
  • Basic earnings per share (EPS) of 100.5 cents, up 17%
  • Headline EPS (HEPS) of 100.0 cents, up 17%
  • Normalised EPS (NEPS)1 of 100.0 cents, up 18%
  • Final dividend per share of 28 cents
  • Cash generated from operating activities of R467 million, up 21%

Read: Meet South Africa’s tech billionaires

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