CFI losses widen

HARARE - Listed agro-focused concern CFI Holdings Limited (CFI)’s losses widened to $5,5 million in the half year to March 2014 from $1,76 million incurred in prior comparable year.

The group said the depressed performance was on the back of rationalisation costs, working capital constrains, low capacity utilisation and heavy financing costs.

During the period under review, turnover declined by 13 percent to $41,8 million from $48 million.

The group incurred an operating loss of $3,7 million from an operating profit of $553 000 realised in the half year to March 2013, with retrenchment costs of $995 564 in the half year to March 2014. Basic loss per share deteriorated to 5,22 cents from 1,67 cents.

Of the total turnover, the group’s poultry unit contributed 32 percent, specialised division six percent and the retail division 62 percent.

“The group invested $0,15 million in property, plant and equipment. Total borrowings decreased marginally by $0,3 million relative to prior year, closing the year at $16,1 million,” the group said.

It is in the process of concluding the disposal of its investment in fertiliser maker Windmill (Private) Limited and hopes to finalise the transaction before end of third quarter.

Under the poultry division, Agrifoods saw a 39 percent decline in working capital.

Afrimix had a 43 percent decline in volumes compared to the prior period. Hubbard Zimbabwe had a difficult half year due to power outages and a decrease in demand for day old chicks.

Glenara Estates cropped about 700 hactares with maize, maize seed, soya beans and sorghum during the period under review.

Crest Breeders was rationalised in the period under review but is expected to be affected by the proposed land for debt swap with financial institutions.

At Suncrest Chickens, 114 employees were retrenched due to unsustainable operational inefficiencies.

“In the specialised division, Victoria Foods experienced an equity transaction fall through which negatively affected the business which negatively affected the business’s production planning performance during the period,” the group said.

Due to continued unavailability of long-term funds for development projects, Maitlands Zimbabwe experienced very little progress on projects.

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