September 21, 2023: Battery and auto components group Metair Investments has appointed Johan Mouton as COO with effect from October 1.
Mouton (pictured) was most recently technical and logistics director at the BMW Group’s plant in Rosslyn, South Africa. He is also a former VP of the body and press plant at BMW’s Tiexi facility in China.
Metair said Mouton was joining the company on a fixed term contact — but did not disclose details.
Nondumiso Medupe has been appointed as a member of the investment committee, with effect from September 13, Metair said. Medupe serves on the boards of a number of South Africa-listed companies and is also CEO of professional services firm Indyebo.
Meanwhile, Metair posted “robust results” for the six months ended June 30 on September 14.
The group reported a 124% increase in operating profit to ZAR324 million ($17 million) compared to the corresponding period last year. Ebitda for the group increased to ZAR536 million.
Metair said its results were buoyed by stronger OEM vehicle production in South Africa and higher profitability from its Turkish lead battery manufacturer, Mutlu Akü.
Mutlu recovered from an operating loss of ZAR160 million in the first half of last year to a profit of ZAR49 million in the latest reporting period.
In addition to Mutlu, Metair’s energy storage division includes Romanian lead and lithium company Rombat and South Africa’s First National Battery.
Total capital expenditure in the first half of this year was ZAR316 million, of which Metair said the majority was to expand capacity of its auto components unit while also funding unspecified technology enhancements in its energy storage division — including selling off Rombat’s lithium line.
Last April, Metair reiterated that plans to sell of the energy storage business remain suspended as a result of the geopolitical climate in Europe and global financial instability.