Founded in 1978 by Moncef Sellami in a partnership with Italian firm General Câble Riva, Tunisie Câbles was the first company of the One Tech group to begin operations.
In 1991 the group oriented its business around the mechatronics sector by founding Fuba Printed Circuits Tunisie, which specialises in the manufacture of printed circuit boards for the automotive, telecommunications, computing, consumer and industrial electronics markets.
In 2005 the group put together a diversification strategy that was built on the concept of a one-stop shop, offering a complete solution to its clients. This went from cables, printed circuit boards, and assembled electronic and mechanical parts through to finished products (complete modules), which is the origin of the name One Tech.
In 2013 the Sellami family took the decision to restructure the entire group into one holding, One Tech Holding (OTH). OTH controlled 15 companies spread over three different sectors – cable manufacturing, mechatronics and telecoms – and it listed on the Tunis Stock Exchange.
OTH is the second-largest private exporter in Tunisia. Some 76% of its turnover comes from exports, with its two main export activities being mechatronics and cable manufacturing.
Despite 5% growth in revenues to TD468m (€200.7m) in 2015, the group’s net profit that year declined by 30% and settled at TD15.7m (€6.7m).
In recent years the group has enhanced its sales prospecting efforts, stabilised its production facilities and diversified its range of products, all of which should bear fruit in 2017. We expect OTH’s bottom line to reach TD25m (€10.7m), up 59% on 2015 and 10% compared to 2014.
While cable manufacturing represents the group’s core business, with its modest but stable growth rates of 5% per annum, it is likely to continue draining the recurring cash flow of the group. It is the mechatronics business that will represent the main growth engine of OTH, and is expected to overtake its cable business five years from now in the company’s consolidated turnover. This activity has a double advantage: attractive future growth figures, with double-digit growth in the international sector, as well as significantly higher profitability levels than the cable business.
Regarding OTH’s information and communications technology line of business, the group is continuing with its restructuring plan, which is focusing on the development of IT services by concentrating more on exports, including to the African market – through the implementation of its subsidiary One Tech Africa in Côte d’Ivoire – which is part of the group’s export-oriented strategy.
Therefore 2016 should prove to have been a turning point for the group. The newly launched projects reached break-even point in 2015, and are now expected to raise the group’s profitability.
The company’s dynamic commercial strategy, which has been implemented in 2017, should be further confirmed by improving production and optimising operating expenses.
OTH group, therefore, has what it takes to reach its ambitious goals. It has a solid financial base, with net debt of TD13m (€5.6m) barely representing 5% of its equity. The group is also well positioned in the market, and its geographical proximity to clients will give it a strong comparative advantage in terms of flexibility and responsiveness.
OTH’s share price has been progressing slowly but surely, rising by 19% since its listing. Several institutional investors – including Consortium Tuniso-Koweitien de Développement and AfricInvest – have bought into OTH’s capital along the way. The institutionalisation of the group’s capital is an additional argument for the strength of this stock.