Office and Print

Divisional overviews
Office and Print

Kevin Wakeford

Kevin Wakeford
Chief executive

Trading profit grew
by 6.5%
Kolok finished
the year stronger
Silveray delivered a
good result
Office Furniture delivered
an excellent result
Salient features

Salient features

  • As was the case last year, the division has again made excellent progress in implementing revised strategies and new focuses since its formation a few years ago.
  • Overall revenue declined and trading profit grew, which is an indication of how well the division has extracted synergies and efficiencies from its various businesses.
  • Year-on-year comparisons were distorted by the non-recurrence of voter registration work and the closure of Zonke in December 2017 following the loss of the National Central Electronic Monitoring contract.
  • Pressure on the top line was evident, particularly, in office products. This was however mitigated at the trading profit level by remedial action taken and strategic initiatives implemented.
  • Silveray drove innovations and additional efficiencies were implemented in the factory. Tough trading conditions continued at Waltons, but ongoing management actions continue to bear fruit.
  • Office Furniture continues to excel in product innovation.
  • Konica Minolta had a record year with new contracts secured and the gross margin improved materially.
  • Data, Print and Packaging held its own and was boosted by a process of rationalising operations and concluding pleasing bolt-on acquisitions, but was hampered by no election work, the ongoing migration from print to electronic products and pricing pressures in packaging.

Strategic focus

The focus over the last two years has been on numerous initiatives to simplify aspects of the businesses and better position the division for the future. Improved efficiencies, good margin management and tight cost control were the main contributors to this year's very pleasing result, which flowed through into exceptional operating cash generation, as funds employed, particularly stock, was also very well managed.

In addition to the strategic progress made, the division acquired important bolt-on businesses during the year, which collectively contributed R200 million in revenue. Some smaller businesses were either sold or closed.


The division has made good progress in terms of its transformation and B-BBEE process which responsibility devolves to the individual business units. Key focus areas remain management control, skills and supplier development, as well as procurement. The businesses have improved in management control with several black appointments made at senior management levels over the past year. Total skills spend amounted to R46 million for the year. The number of learnerships, internships and apprenticeships for the year amounted to 819. Procurement is receiving continued attention with pressure placed on suppliers to improve their scorecards. In addition, the division has made good progress on its Enterprise and Supplier development programmes, as well as the SED element. A total of R30 million was spent on these elements during the year under review.


The focus for 2019 will remain on ensuring the best-in-class service to customers and to broaden and innovate the product range. Expense and asset management will remain a critical feature and focus will continue on managing the volatile exchange rate. New contracts are being pursued across the board.

Strategically, each business will remain alive to changes it needs to make in their business models in ever changing markets and adapting to challenging economic conditions. The division has implemented numerous products and services to meet the changing nature of the market, and is well prepared to meet the challenges going forward. Bolt-on and other suitable acquisitions will continue to be pursued.

Our story

Konica Minolta South Africa

From humble beginnings in 1905 as a small shop trading in blueprints in District Six, Cape Town, under the name of Helios, the business changed hands several times, with owners including Oce van der Grinten, Waltons and finally, the Bidvest Group.

Transition from analog to digital culminated in Minolta and Konica merger

No.1 office automation supplier* in South Africa since 2011

Network of 70 servicing branches

In 1967 the Minolta agency was acquired by Helios, leading to the introduction of electro photo-static equipment to the South African market with the launch of its first copier, the Minolta Copymaster.

The next significant milestone was the award of the State contract for office automation in 1976. This was the beginning of a long and successful partnership and, to this day, Konica Minolta South Africa is still a major supplier to the government.

With rapid growth in the '80s and '90s, Bidvest realised the opportunity to grow the company and acquired it in 1997. Huge changes in the office automation industry, not least the transition from analogue to digital technology, culminated in the worldwide merger of Minolta and Konica. Konica Minolta, as it was then known continued to grow as the proud sole distributor of Konica Minolta office automation products in Southern Africa. Together with Bidvest's funding capability and strategic ability, specifically its decentralised management model, the business become South Africa's No.1 office automation supplier* in 2011, based on sales, a position it has held ever since.

With the world-wide adoption of digital technology, the landscape of business automation has been changing at a rapid pace. Konica Minolta now brings additional value to customers by also offering an extensive range of software to manage and integrate many aspects of the working office.

Konica Minolta's market leadership position has enabled various community projects, a strong source of pride for staff and business associates.

In partnership with Food and Trees for Africa, Konica Minolta South Africa has planted more than 40 000 trees since 2008 and has maintained its carbon-neutral status since 2013. In 2015 a toner recycling project was launched – to date, more than 80 tons of used toner bottles and cartridges have been recycled.

After spending time in some of Gauteng's most disadvantaged communities, self-guided IT literacy learning was facilitated by making a complete IT lab accessible to young minds with the launch of the bizIT centre.

Another innovative project, the bizhub Conservation Academy in Hazyview, Mpumalanga, has empowered young rural South Africans through specialised career training to participate in the economy of wildlife.

With the endangerment of the iconic rhino, the company turned its attention to rhino conservation. Today, a portion of the proceeds from every device sold by Konica Minolta South Africa is donated to Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary, the largest rhino orphanage in the world.

The Konica Minolta network includes more than 70 servicing branches and dealers covering the entire southern African landscape. It employs almost 2 000 staff, including over 800 trained technicians.

*Based on industry sales surveys by the independent market data specialist, InfoSource