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Stephen Brookes’ Balwin Properties posts $8.1 million in mid-year profit as apartment sales recover in South Africa

The South Africa-based property developer delivered double-digit growth in earnings.

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South African businessman Stephen Brookes.

South African homebuilder Balwin Properties has posted R117 million ($8.1 million) in profit at the end of the first half of its 2021 fiscal year, as profits surged by 44.3 percent compared to last year owing to higher apartments sales.

Despite the disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic and difficulties in housing segments, the South Africa-based property developer delivered double-digit growth in earnings as it continued to leverage the economy’s strong recovery and a higher demand for apartments in the country.

The strong apartment sales enabled Balwin to deliver 1,261 apartments to clients in the first half of 2021, up from 896 apartments during the prior year.

As a result, revenue grew from R930 million ($64.4 million) in 2020 to R1.312 billion ($90.8 million, while profit rose by 44 percent from R81 million ($5.6 million) to R117 million ($8.1 million).

Balwin Properties Founder and CEO Stephen Brookes said the company’s financial performance reflects a pleasing recovery from the challenging market conditions experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Operational activity has steadily recovered to pre Covid-19 levels, supported by the sustained demand for apartments,” Brookes said.

Information contained in the half-year report revealed that the growth in revenue was due to its Classic Collection,* Green Collection** and Signature Collection*** development brands, which delivered strong performance for the period.

The Classic Collection continued to provide the majority of the group’s revenue at 65 percent, down from 76 percent last year, while the Green Collection contributed 18 percent of the total revenue from apartment sales. This is up from the 10 percent that was recorded last year.

A brand comparison revealed that the Green Collection overtook the Signature Collection in terms of revenue contribution, with the latter contributing a balance of 17 percent, up from 14 percent.

The group expects the contribution of Green Collection real estate developments to continue to rise in the forthcoming financial year in line with the increased roll-out of these properties.

Balwin is a residential property developer of large-scale, sectional title estates for South Africa’s low-to-middle-income population. The group provides high quality, environmentally efficient affordable apartments with an innovative lifestyle offering for residents.

In line with its resilient financial performance, the board declared a dividend of R0.074 ($0.00484) per share payable from its income reserves on Dec. 13.

As of press time, Oct. 20, shares in the South Africa-based group were trading at R3.69 9$0.2554) per share, 5.14-percent lower than its opening price this morning.

At the current price valuation, the market value of Brookes’ 36.08-percent ownership interest in the property developer is valued at R629 million ($44 million).

*The Classic Collection is Balwin’s core development model the apartments are targeted at the country’s growing middle-income market with prices ranging from R699,900 ($48,494) to R2,249,900 ($155,874).

**The Green Collection targets slightly lower income consumers than the Classic Collection, the Green-branded developments offer apartments priced from R499,900 ($34,626) to R1,099,900 ($76,195).

***The Signature Collection houses elite developments across South Africa. The apartments are built to higher specifications with luxurious finishes, priced from R1,299,900 ($90,064) to R2,999,900 ($207,860).

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African-American billionaire Oprah Winfrey files lawsuit against creators of ‘Oprahdemics’ podcast

As the “Queen of Talk,” Winfrey has built a thriving media empire that includes Harpo Productions.

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Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah Winfrey, a well-known African-American billionaire and talkshow host, has filed a lawsuit against the creators of the “Oprahdemics” podcast through her company, Harpo Productions, claiming that the program misleads the public into believing she sponsored or approved it.

According to Reuters, Winfrey, the wealthiest Black woman in the United States and one of the world’s richest Black billionaires, stated that she is neither seeking profit nor damages from the creators of “Oprahdemics,” and she is not attempting to halt the podcast.

She demanded that the podcast’s name be changed because its live events dilute Harpo’s “Oprah” and “O” trademarks and that the use of the word capitalizes on the goodwill that she has spent decades building, a move she said could cause irreparable harm to Harpo’s reputation.

Many consider Winfrey, who turned her hit talk show, “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which aired for 25 years, into a media and business empire, to be an institution.

Winfrey returned to the small screen in 2020 on Apple TV+ for an interview show about COVID-19 as part of a multiyear deal with the streamer.

Since the start of the year, her net worth has declined from $2.6 billion to $2.5 billion at the time of writing this report, resulting in a total loss of $100 million for the leading businesswoman.

As the “Queen of Talk,” Winfrey has built a thriving media empire that includes Harpo Productions, which has worked on films like “The Color Purple,” “Beloved,” and “Selma.”

She also has a 25.5-percent stake in the Oprah Winfrey Network, the cable channel that she launched in 2011, and a seven-percent stake in Weight Watchers, a global company that provides weight loss and maintenance services, which is presently worth $492 million.

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These are the four African billionaires whose net worth has increased since start of 2022

Among them are Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote and Egypt’s wealthiest man Nassef Sawiris.

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Nassef Sawiris.

Only four of the 21 African businessmen on our radar with a net worth of $1 billion or more have seen their fortunes improve since the beginning of the year.

Among them are Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote and Egypt’s wealthiest man Nassef Sawiris.

The recent surge in the shares of companies in their portfolios has resulted in a combined wealth increase of nearly $2 billion for these four African billionaires since the start of the year.

According to data compiled by Billionaires.Africa, this is how they stand at the moment.

#1 Aliko Dangote

Net worth: $19.8 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $670 million

Nationality: Nigerian

Aliko Dangote, the chairman of Dangote Industries Limited, Africa’s most diversified manufacturing conglomerate, has seen his net worth rise by more than $670 million this year, from $19.1 billion at the start of the year to $19.8 billion at the time of writing.

The increase in his net worth can be attributed to a bump in the market value of his 86-percent stake in Dangote Cement Plc, which accounts for $9.06 billion of his $19.8-billion fortune.

Since the year began, shares in Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest cement manufacturer, have increased from N257 ($0.614) per share to N265 ($0.633) per share.

Earlier this week, the company’s share price plummeted to N241 ($0.57) per share, resulting in a staggering $863-million loss for the billionaire in a single day.

However, renewed buying interest among investors on Wednesday saw the billionaire recoup part of the wealth loss and net a year-to-date wealth gain of $670 million.

#2 Nassef Sawiris

Net worth: $7.16 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $670 million

Nationality: Egyptian

Egypt’s richest man Nassef Sawiris, a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family, is one of the four African billionaires who have seen significant increases in their net worth since the beginning of the year.

The leading billionaire, who serves on the boards of Adidas and OCI N.V., a global nitrogen product manufacturer and distributor, has seen his net worth rise by $659 million since the beginning of this year, from $6.5 billion to $7.16 billion at the time of writing this report.

The majority of his fortune stems from his 38.8-percent stake in the Netherlands-based OCI N.V., which is worth $2.52 billion, and his six-percent stake in Adidas, which is worth $2.13 billion.

#3 Abdul Samad Rabiu

Net worth: $5.8 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $400 million

Nationality: Nigerian

Thanks to the listing of BUA Foods Plc, Abdul Samad Rabiu, the founder of BUA Group, one of Africa’s fastest-growing conglomerates, has seen positive wealth gains this year.

The market value of his stake in his newly consolidated food conglomerate, which went public on Jan. 5, offset the decline in the market value of his stake in his cement business, BUA Cement Plc, as its share price fell from N71.95 ($0.17) to N58.8 ($0.14) at the time of writing this report.

His net worth has risen by $400 million since the start of the year, from $5.4 billion to $5.8 billion.

#4 Nicky Oppenheimer

Net worth: $8.20 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $250 million

Nationality: South African

South Africa’s second-richest man Nicky Oppenheimer, who previously ran the diamond mining firm DeBeers before selling it to Anglo-American a decade ago, has seen his wealth rise by $250 million this year, from $7.95 billion to $8.2 billion, thanks to the revaluation of his private equity investments.

Oppenheimer, who is Africa’s third-richest man and South Africa’s second-wealthiest man, invests the majority of his net worth in private equity in Africa, Asia, the United States, and Europe through London-based Stockdale Street and Johannesburg-based Tana Africa Capital.

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South African billionaire Johann Rupert-linked SEACOM partners with BT Group

Seacom is privately funded and 75 percent African-owned.

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Johann Rupert. ©Billionaires.Africa

SEACOM has announced a strategic alliance with UK telecommunications service provider BT Group as it prepares to enter the African enterprise cybersecurity market.

SEACOM is a leading pan-African telecom services provider linked to South Africa’s richest man Johann Rupert.

The partnership aligns with SEACOM’s plans to expand its portfolio of services targeting African businesses. By leveraging BT Group’s infrastructure and expertise, SEACOM hopes to secure its own infrastructure and deliver new networking and security solutions to African businesses.

“With SEACOM’s global network and local presence and BT’s global reach and expertise, we will be able to deliver a comprehensive portfolio of cloud, security, and connectivity services that are reliable, scalable, and at the cutting-edge of the industry,” Oliver Fortuin, CEO of SEACOM, said.

BT Group, which protects some of the world’s largest organizations from cyber threats through a dedicated network of security operations centers around the world, announced that SEACOM customers will gain access to BT Group’s Cloud Security Incident Event Management (SIEM) platform.

The SIEM platform provides real-time visibility and monitoring across an organization’s entire IT environment, acting as an additional layer of security to SEACOM’s existing ICT solutions.

Seacom, which bills itself as Africa’s most extensive ICT infrastructure provider, is privately funded and 75-percent African-owned, with Rupert’s investment holding Remgro owning 30 percent of the company.

South African mining magnate Patrice Motsepe owns a 15-percent stake in the pan-African telecom services provider through his financial services conglomerate, Sanlam.

Jubilee Holdings, a Kenyan investment holding backed by Aga Khan IV (Shah Karim al-Husayni), increased its stake in SEACOM from 8.8 to 18.8 percent earlier this year after acquiring an additional 10-percent stake in the company.

According to Nizar Juma, chairman of Jubilee Holdings, the transaction will strengthen the company’s ability to diversify its investment priorities across major sectors of the economy.

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