Strong bounce back for Ansys


The freeing up of the logjam in the awarding of government rail contracts has resulted in a return to profitability in the second half for rail and defence company, Ansys Limited.

Ansys, which had a “disappointing” first half, recovered much of the lost ground in the second half of the financial year to end February 2009, as the tender tap was turned on once again.

The company turned around its revenue flow to R79 million in the second half, with an after tax profit of R8.2 million, from total revenue of R41 million and a loss of R6.6 million in the first half.

And some major railway tenders – including a R1 billion signalling tender for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (formerly MetroRail and the SA Rail Commuter Corporation) – are in the offing for this financial year and next.

“We been waiting for these tenders to materialise for three years,” says Ansys CEO Alan Holloway.

“This is one of the biggest tenders of its kind to materialise in a decade. The group is currently sitting with an order book of R80 million, which is a considerable improvement on the order situation this time last year.”

The main tender that has been put out is for the re-signalling of the Gauteng passenger rail area. Once this is in progress, other tenders covering the rest of the country are expected to be awarded.

Subsidiary, Emerging Signals (Pty) Ltd, has successfully concluded the installation of a yard automation pilot site for Transnet Freight Rail and a further tender, for the Salkor site, is expected to be awarded this year.

Other Ansys technology businesses, Optocon Systems (Pty) Ltd and QuadSoft (Pty) Ltd, which were acquired in 2008, are currently performing well. Holloway says Optocon is picking up orders for its electro optical equipment worldwide and QuadSoft is currently enjoying a resurgence in the demand for the Locomotive communication products it provides.

“The picture going forward is quite positive for Ansys and the order book is showing that,” says Holloway.