· Board Changes: NMBZ; Caledonia
· Trading Update: Unifreight; General Beltings; Zimpapers; AFSUN; FCA
Board Changes: NMBZ; Caledonia
NMBZ Holdings Limited announced the retirement of Mr. Benedict Chikwanha from the Board with effect from 31 December, 2023, after having served ten years on the board, nine of which he served as Board Chairman. The Company also announced the appointment of Pearson Gowero as Chairman of the NMBZ Holdings and NMB Bank Limited Boards with effect from 1 January, 2024. Pearson currently sits on the NMBZ Holdings Limited and NMB Bank Limited Board as an Independent non-Executive Director and is a member of the ALCO and Finance Committee, Loans Review Committee, Human Capital, Remuneration and Nominations Committee and the Risk and Compliance Committee. Emilia Chisango was also appointment as Deputy Chairperson of the NMBZ Holdings and NMB Bank Limited Boards with effect from 1 January, 2024. She currently sits on the NMBZ Holdings Limited and NMB Bank Limited Boards as an Independent non-Executive Director and is the Chair of the Board Credit Committee and Audit Committee.
Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc announced that Mr. Dana Roets will step down from his role as Chief Operating Officer with effect from February 29, 2024, and will remain a director of the Company and various subsidiaries until February 29, whereupon he will also step down from those roles.
Trading Update: Unifreight; General Beltings; Zimpapers; AFSUN; FCA
In a Trading Update for its 3rd quarter of 2023 fiscal year, Unifreight reported a staggering 135% growth in volumes from 50,000t in comparable period in 2022 to 120,000t in the period under review. The growth was attributed to increased capacity following the procurement of 100 X FAW28-380FT which were paired with AFRIT Taut-liners. Despite additional capacity which would typically result in increased variable costs, Unifreight saw a mild 2% increase in expenditure due to cost-containment measures. Consequently, the Company registered an EBITDA of ZWL3.4 billion for the period under review, from a loss position in prior corresponding period. Unifreight said the 100 FAW’s have been operating in Zimbabwe with depressed rates/KM and this led to some fleet being moved onto more lucrative cross-border contracts. The Company is now focusing on smaller FAW28 290hp and FAW8 140hp trucks for Zimbabwe, with volumetric configurations to operate at lower running costs per KM.
In the 3rd quarter ended 30 September, 2023, General Beltings recorded a 57% surge in volumes to 308 metric tonnes, from 196 metric tonnes in prior corresponding period. In the rubber division, volumes went up by 19% to 92 metric tonnes, from 77 metric tonnes in prior comparable period. In the Chemicals division, volumes at 216 metric tonnes were 82% higher than 119 metric tonnes recorded in comparable period last year. Overall turnover was 9% up at US$1.2 million, against US$1.1 million in prior corresponding period despite the increased competitions from imports from the region and abroad.
In a Trading Update for the 3rd quarter ended 30 September, 2023, Zimbabwe Newspapers Limited posted an 82% growth in inflation adjusted revenue to ZWL81.1 billion. Bottom line before monetary adjustments turned back to profitability of ZWL3.3 billion from the second quarter year to date loss of ZWL2.2 billion. However, gross profit margin for the period declined by 10 percentage points to 58% owing to high cost of sales that were driven by increases in material prices and the effect of local currency depreciation when compared to hard currencies. Consequently, a net profit margin before monetary adjustments of 5% was recorded, 10 percentage points down from 15% for the same period last year. Total assets at end of period amounted to ZWL60.1 billion while equity stood at ZWL31 billion.
African Sun Limited published a Trading Update for its 3rd quarter ended 30 September, 2023, in which the Group highlighted it has adopted the US$ as its functional currency effective from 1 January, 2023. Overall revenue for the 3-months period increased by 12% against comparative period in prior year to US$14.6 million. The growth was attributed to firmer ADR spurred by higher demand from the Meetings, Incentives Conferences and Events from the just ended August 2023 election business. The Group said local business generated 65% of total, down from 77% in Q3 of 2022, whilst international business contributed 35% to revenue, up from 23% in Q3 of 2022. The domestic business recorded a currency mix of 55% and 45% between US$ and ZWL respectively, translating to an aggregate 71% US$ foothold of the overall revenue. On a year-to-date basis (9-months), AFSUN has recorded a total revenue of US$37 million, 13% ahead of the comparative period. The YTD surge is due to an ADR growth of 21%, and a 3 percentage points increase in occupancy from 45% in 2022 to 48% in 2023.
In its 3rd quarter ended 30 September, 2023, First Capital Bank achieved a 29% increase in total income year-to-date to US$48.7 million. The growth was attributed to strong performance in both net interest and non-funded income which increased by 22% and 33% respectively. Interest income growth was driven by year-to-date loan growth of 32% to US$89 million at Q3 2023 with 12% being funded by offshore lines of credit. The Group also registered an increase in US$ transactions which saw 70% of total income being denominated in US$, with 85% of customer deposits being foreign currency denominated whilst foreign currency loans constituted 90% of total advances. On the downside, operating expenses increased by 18% to US$28.6 million for the nine months ended 30 September, 2023, compared to US$24.2 million incurred during the same period in 2022.
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