African Oxygen Limited (JSE:AFX)
African Oxygen Limited (JSE:AFX), Afrox, is southern Africa’s market leader in industrial gases, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and welding products.
The company operates in South Africa and seven other African countries. It has an associate company in Mauritius and manages various operations in five other African countries on behalf of Linde PLC – its global gases, engineering and technology parent company.
Products and services: LPG is an inexpensive and safe energy source consumed in small and large scales. The group supplies packaged LPG, branded as “Handigas”, and “Safety Gas®” in smaller cylinders for lower volumes. Higher demands are met with larger cylinders or direct delivery to bulk end-users.
Distribution channels: The group sources LPG from local refineries, bulk trading with competitors and imports. The logistics department distributes LPG in cylinders or bulk, and the group's Level 1 and 2 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) partners distribute LPG into informal markets. Customers can order products online for collection or delivery through the centralised e-channel.
Markets served: Smaller LPG cylinders are versatile and useful in all major economic sectors and home use. Larger bulk options are primarily used in manufacturing, larger commercial activities, retail and hospitality.
Products and services: Hard Goods include arc equipment, gas equipment and welding consumables, among others. Brands include Vitemax® and Saffire®.
Distribution channels: Afrox sells manufactured and imported products through direct and indirect sales infrastructure to small-scale and bulk customers. It sells products in African countries other than South Africa through direct in-country sales channels, a container distribution model, and through a network of partners who export from South Africa. Gas & Gear outlets retail Afrox products. Customers can order products online for collection or delivery through the centralised e-channel.
Markets served: Any industry where welding or component products are used. This includes light industry, manufacturing, mining, power generation and construction.
Manufacturing of gases and other products takes place on 41 different sites throughout southern Africa. This comprises 31 units and 16 on-sites (automated plants not requiring operators), with some manufacturing sites hosting more than one unit. The Bulk Scheduling Centre deals with more than 20 000 customer drops per month, while the grouup's transport fleet covers around 24 million kilometres per year. Afrox employs more than 3000 people and has a national network of distributors and branded Gas & Gear centres.