Pioneer optimistic about future

HARARE - Listed transport and logistics company, Pioneer Corporation Africa (Pioneer) is optimistic of a bullish performance in the medium to long-term owing to its recent acquisition of newer assets which will significantly improve efficiencies, chairperson Paul Chingoka said.

He said the company’s performance in the second half of 2012 to June 30, has continued to improve owing to increased investment in information technology (IT) to ensure optimum fleet utilisation and attain sustainable competitive advantage.

The group commissioned a new IT system, Freightware, for tracing and tracking of cargo and Fleet-Pro, for efficient fleet management.

Despite an operating business environment characterised by incessant fluctuations in commodity and fuel prices, the group managed to perform relatively well due to an aggressive approach in meeting customers’ needs.

Although revenue improved by 5,6 percent to $13,5 million, operating profit for the group decreased from $483 000 to $352 000 compared to same period in 2011.

“Growth in revenues was mainly organic and driven by an efficient and newer asset base,” said Chingoka in a statement, adding that the recapitalisation programme adopted last year has resulted in increased amortisation costs.

Cost of sales stood at $7,7 million, up from $7,5 prior year while administration expenses amounted to $5,9 million compared to $4,4 million at the end of 2011.

The transport company acquired Unifreight last year but is still waiting for relevant authorities to approve the transaction, thus financial results of the new acquisition were not included in its report for the half year ending 30 June.

Chingoka also added that the group would continue to follow a cost leadership strategy with a sharp focus on cost containment.

The company’s foreign subsidiaries include Pioneer Transport South Africa, Pioneer Clan Botswana and Mavambo Coaches South Africa.

“Foreign subsidiaries continue to perform well and their reporting currencies are principally the South African rand and Botswana pula which were converted to US (United States) dollars at relevant cross rates, for reporting purposes,” said Chingoka.

Chingoka says the board was prudent not to declare a dividend in line with debt reduction and investing in working capital. - Business Writer

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