Latest Manufacturing sector features from across Africa.

Latest Manufacturing Corporate Stories

Quality Products

Scrubbing up nicely Living up to its name in every respect, this prominent South African manufacturer has consistently delivered high quality soap, toiletries and cosmetics to both clients and consumers for over fifty years Writer Christopher Davies Project manager Ben Wigger Established in the 1940s, Quality Products has been a prominent manufacturer of home and personal care goods in Southern Africa for several years. At first, the company produced candles before moving on to soap and other toiletries. In fact, such pioneering development of soap products caught the attention of global consumer goods giant unilever, who went on to buy Quality Products in the mid-1960s. But this period of ownership came to an end in 2005, when Beige Holdings acquired the company's shares and assets in partnership with Thebe Health Care. Since then Quality Products, which is listed on the JSE's alternative Exchange (altX), has continued to successfully deliver a strong portfolio of products throughout the region. As the leading third party toiletries manufacturer in the region, quality Products is able to produce goods such as soap, home and personal care products as well as hotel guest amenities to the client's individual specifications. Customers include multinational blue chip corporations such as Avon, Johnson & Johnson, Tiger Brands, Unicef, Unilever, Woolworths and the World Health Organisation. Unique Selling Point When asked what gives Quality Products an edge over its competitors, marketing manager Struan Robinson was quick to respond: "Our unique selling point is that we are able to manufacturer products even more efficiently and much cheaper than

Nampak Bevcan

Drinks on us Where others have fallen, Nampak Bevcan has continued to flourish. This is thanks to an unrelenting commitment to product quality and customer satisfaction, in spite of economic constraints and a lack of infrastructure across Africa Writer Chris Davies Project manager Ben Wigger Since its inception over fifty years ago, Nampak Bevcan has successfully been manufacturing and supplying beverage cans across South Africa. Throughout this prosperous existence, the company's footprint has gradually grown to include surrounding markets such as Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The packaging company reported an 11 per cent increase in group revenue to R18.3 billion for the year ending September 2013. Operating profit from continuing operations increased eight percent to R1.9 billion and the group reported headline earnings per share of 217.5c, up from 201.0c a year ago. Nampak said trading income from Africa rose 60 percent to R506 million largely thanks to strong performance in its Angola-based beverage can manufacturing facility, which operated at above design capacity for the majority of the year, as well as its Kenyan food can operation, which benefitted from a good pineapple crop. In November 2013, Nampak announced that it was set to buy Alucan Packaging, a Nigerian beverage can manufacturer, in a deal worth $301 million. In a statement Nampak said the Alucan factory is equipped with "a brand new, state-of-the-art aluminium beverage can line" capable of producing up to "one billion cans per annum". It has also been designed and constructed to "accommodate a second line once demand exceeds the current capacity".

John Holt Nigeria

John Holt bounces back Nigerian conglomerate John Holt has had a difficult few years, falling on hard times. This isn't a company that gives up easily however and through hard work it has returned to profitability. We talk to Executive Deputy Chairman David Parmley. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Tom Cullum John Holt is a key player in various sectors of the Nigerian economy, offering quality products and services through a network of branches nationwide. And it is a company on the rebound, having undergone a major restructuring exercise. Indeed John Holt, a household name, has been through the mire in recent years. Allegations of fraud and a turbulent business environment negatively impacted on the fortunes of the company, with it falling on hard times. "We've just had our year end in September," says Executive Deputy Chairman David Parmley. "I'm happy to say that we've returned to profitability after what has been an extremely difficult period. We've repositioned the company to meet various challenges and obviously had some problematic times in recent years where as a result of various malpractices we made a huge loss. We've managed to isolate and remove problems and we have focused on transforming our business." As part of that John Holt moved into a new head office. "Has it been a good move? Yes," says Mr Parmley. "We had a huge site which was getting on for ten acres and it really was inconsistent with the size of the business. So we moved to a new office and a new operational

New Horizon Printing Press

Prints Charming Africa Outlook talks to Shawky Hemeidan, the Managing Director of Lusaka-based New Horizon Printing Press. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Ben Wigger Shawky Hemeidan is one of the most passionate and interesting Managing Directors/ entrepreneurs I've ever talked to (and over the many years I've talked to a lot). He's a confident, positive thinker who believes heavily in the projects and things he does – and he isn't the sort of man you can keep in a box. These traits have helped to create one of Zambia's leading printers, New Horizon Printing Press (NHPP). "We founded the business in February 2000," says Hemeidan. "I'm the Managing Director and major shareholder of NHPP and we came into the country and started commercial printing such as catalogues, magazines, brochures and books and since then we have been re-investing into this industry in various diversified sectors." A focus on customer requirements and a flexible approach has stood the company in good stead. "We are not afraid to invest - we ventured into new flexi printing machines and we diversified into packaging such as lightweight boxes," Hemeidan continues. "For the past 14 years we have been re-investing and growing in the market whilst trying to satisfy the market needs and minimise the importation of printed materials. We've also invested in digital and large format printing as well as t-shirt screen printing. It's the latest equipment and state-of-the-art technology." Of course, it's no secret that top talent makes businesses go. Whether you are a start-up business or a multinational

B&Q Dredging

Champion of Nigeria Nestoil is one of Nigeria's leading indigenous oil and gas companies Along with its sister companies Hammakopp, Gobowen, Energyworks Technology Limited, B&Q Dredging Limited, Century Power Generation Limited and Time Power Global Dynamics Limited, it is a pioneer of local content in Nigeria's oil and gas sector and an emerging force in the local power industry. Africa Outlook talks to Austine Agomuoh, Nestoil's General Manager, Projects, about the firm's dredging arm B&Q Dredging. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Arron Rampling When B&Q Dredging, a subsidiary of Nigerian oil and gas giant Nestoil, was founded in 1996 it had a rather ambitious goal – to become the first real indigenous Nigerian dredging company. It soon delivered, says Austine Agomuoh, Nestoil's General Manager, Projects. "In 1996 the company was re-organised as a full-fledged oil servicing company providing professional engineering services, dredging, flood and erosion control, shoreline protection and consolidation, canalisation urban renewal and reclamation services to Nigerian energy, oil and gas industries," he says. "B&Q Dredging has a total of seven dredgers. Out of this number, four came from a company that was divesting and the other three were acquired from Manufactures overseas. Among the fleet is the Enesto dredger, one of the biggest dredgers you can get around in Africa. That was acquired in 2007 specifically to address the requirements of one of the projects that Nestoil was doing at the time – the 97 kilometre Nembe Creek Cawthone Trunkline (NCTL) project awarded by Shell." This is a good point at which to take

Crystal Paper Group

Full flush Crystal Paper is recognised as being the leading independent tissue paper manufacturer in Africa. Writer Chris Farnell Project manager Tom Cullum Tissue paper is big business. That box of tissues that you keep on standby for break-ups, weepy movies and nasty colds might look pretty unassuming, but there is a huge industry in place to make sure that your nose never goes un-blown. It's where the Crystal Paper Group comes comes in. However, it's a company with relatively humble beginnings as managing director Rafik Dosani explains. "Crystal Paper started in 1986 as one of the smallest tissue manufacturers in South Africa. However, by 2006 we had become the largest independent tissue manufacturer in the country." Since its birth, the company that started out as Crystal Paper Mills Pty Ltd has seen growth upon growth. It is now a nationally respected manufacturer of tissue, as well as having an extensive recycling programme, with a huge proportion of its new products being made from recycled paper. As the company has gone on to receive widespread recognition in South Africa and beyond, it has achieved a growing footprint in the national and international market, thanks party to a carefully laid out and well established manufacturing and sales infrastructure. Indeed, at the time of writing, the Crystal Paper Group is not only the largest privately owned tissue manufacturer in South Africa but the third largest such company across the entire continent of Africa. But this growth didn't happen overnight. The Crystal Paper Group is the living embodiment of

Pep Clothing : The Fabric of a Community

For more than 40 years, Pep Clothing, the manufacturing division of Pepkor, has been clothing South Africa. the company has been dedicated to providing every variety of high quality apparel.

Kansai Plascon : African Ambitions

Kansai Plascon is a company with expansion on its mind. Already the premier paint company in South Africa, Plascon was purchased by Japanese company Kansai in 2012.

Saab Grintek Defence

Excelling on a global stage Saab Grintek Defence is a South African company with a global reputation. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Tom Cullum The common assumption, particularly in the defence and security industry, is that Africa is not strong when it comes to technology and innovation. Saab Grintek Defence has turned this claim on its head. According to CEO Magnus Lewis-Olsson, South African-made electronic warfare technology has and continues to make its mark in the international military arena, with home-grown self-protection systems being used by numerous defence forces around the world. An impressive range of defence forces, he says, use electronic warfare technology made and invented in South Africa. Amazingly, more than 90 percent of the systems that are being designed and produced by Saab Grintek Defence are being sold on export outside the continent. Unsurprisingly this has been celebrated by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) who named Saab Grintek Defence Best South African Export Company at the inaugural South African Premier Business Awards earlier this year. Hosted by the dti, Proudly South African and Brand South Africa, the award aims to recognise all export industry sectors from services to manufacturing and encourage other South African companies to participate in international business development and markets. It also recognises South African businesses which invest in both human and technical resources in various projects or activities, produce quality products and services, and remain domestically and internationally competitive. "We are a proudly South African company," Lewis-Olsson says. "And the fact our products are globally exported represents

Pouch Dynamics

Driven by innovation Africa Outlook talks to packing entrepreneur Heinz Pospech, the founder of much-respected Pouch Dynamics. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Tom Cullum Heinz Pospech is the man behind Pouch Dynamics, a South African company that has become a well-established manufacturer of top-quality bags and pouches for either large or small runs and which differentiates itself as a supplier of "innovative" pouches. His story began well over a decade ago when he quit the corporate packaging world at 34 and set about establishing his own company and fortune. "I had a background in the flexibles arena and started with pouches I thought would be profitable," Pospech explains. The journey started with an Iverslee pouch-making machine and in January 2000 the first three-sided pouch came off the line. Today it's one of several lines at Pouch Dynamic's current home, a purpose-built cutting-edge facility in Capricorn Park, Muizenberg. "It was touch and go in the early years but soon we secured business with some national companies and we started to grow, especially in the biltong, window putty and fresh produce markets. "Over the years we've turned out over 100 million bags," he says. A focus on customer requirements and a flexible approach has stood the company in good stead and reflects a large list of both local and export customers. Owner-managed Pouch Dynamics is a company continually pushing the envelope and current capacity is ten million pouches per month. "I think it was in 2003 that we bought a Nishibee pouch-maker which opened the door to bigger