Share price: R16,65 JSE code: ASC
HOLD THE COMPANY LISTED ONLY IN 2013 but since then has been on an aggressive acquisition spree, bulking up its scale and the spread of operations.
The contribution of these acquisitions comes through clearly in full-year results to end-June. Of the huge 74% climb in revenue to R2,8bn, 74% was from acquisitions, organic growth counted for 11%, and the rest was from what CE Karsten Wellner calls “synergistic growth from operations”.
Ascendis, it seems, is not only good at making acquisitions but also at integrating them into one of its three divisions, where they quietly disappear and become part of the whole. In time, Wellner says, the acquisitive growth will translate to organic growth.
The company is also spreading its wings internationally. Recently it ventured into Spain where it bought 49% of Farmalider SA for R210m. It has options to buy the rest of the company over the next five years. Ascendis also exports products to 52 countries.
Behind the listing of Ascendis in 2013 was Coast2Coast, which owns 43% of Ascendis and itself plans to list in 2017.
The share is trading a fraction below its high for the year. It might not be the best time to buy. Instead, investors should watch for any possible future price weakness. For those who have the share, hold on and enjoy the ride. Ascendis also pays a decent dividend; the total dividend for the financial year was up 27% to 19c/share.