·         Dividend Notice: MCMS

·         Cautionary Announcement: FMHL

·         Trading Update: CFI; Hippo; OK Zim; BNC

Harare - Dividend Notice: MCMS

TN Asset Management (Pvt) Ltd as the Portfolio Manager, along with the trustees of the Morgan & Co Multi-Sector (MCMS) ETF, declared a dividend of 0.0437 US$ cents per unit payable in respect of the qualifying ETF units. The dividend will be payable on or about 29 February 2024 to unitholders in the ETF’s register at the close of business on 22 February 2024. This dividend notice also comes as a replacement to the notice published in the Herald on the 30th of January 2024 which has been withdrawn by the portfolio manager.

Cautionary Announcement: FMHL

First Mutual Holdings Limited (FMHL) issued a Cautionary Statement to the investing public to exercise caution when dealing in the Company’s securities. This follows a Corrective Order received by the Company from the Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC) to pay significant sums in Zimbabwe dollars and in United States dollars to the policyholders in respect of perceived actual and potential losses after a forensic investigation on the Company’s subsidiary, First Mutual Life Assurance Company (FML). However, FML said they disagree with the findings in the BDO report, the assessor, and in the IPEC Corrective Order as the Company believes that these submissions were in conflict with accounting standards as well as legal and actuarial principles. FML has lodged an application for review of the Corrective Order with the High Court and advised investors to exercise caution during this period.

Trading Update: CFI; Hippo; OK Zim; BNC

In a Trading Update for the first quarter ended 31 December 2023, CFI Holdings Limited reported a 16% growth in sales volumes in the Retail division’s key revenue drivers from 18,446 tonnes in the corresponding period last year to 21,453 tonnes in the period under review. The Group alluded that the improved fertilizer sales followed the reduction in prices to normal levels following the price spike in prior year as a result of global supply chain disruptions emanating from the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. In the Agrifoods division, sales volumes improved by 18% to 9,832 tonnes in the period under review owing to increased product availability resulting from strategic agreements with suppliers of key raw materials. In the Victoria Foods segment, wheat flour sales volumes were 3% up from 3,802 tonnes to 3,916 tonnes due to stable wheat supplies despite power outages. Additionally, the Glenara Estates potato harvest doubled to 2,989 tonnes in the period under review from 1,468 tonnes on the back of improved seed supplies. Overall inflation-adjusted revenue for the quarter was up 544% to ZWL159.8 billion.

In a Trading Update for the third quarter ended 31 December 2023, Hippo Valley Estates Limited reported that total sugar produced fell by -6% against prior corresponding period to 194,684 tons. The quarter under review marked the end of the crushing season for sugar, and the decline in production was attributed to a decline in yields amid reduced ‘plant cane’ harvested and unfavourable weather conditions. Hippo suffered from unscheduled mill stoppages due to unavailability of critical spares owing to cashflow constraints on the account of the impact of cheap imports of sugar. On the upside, cane quality and cane to sugar ratio at 12.1% and 8.27 apiece were both above prior year levels of 12.1% and 8.38 respectively. The total industry sugar sales for the 9-months ended 31 December 2023 of 295,382 tons were 7% below prior year’s level of 318,352 tons, which is in-line with Hippo’s volumes performance in the period and reflective of the negative impact of poor weather conditions on the sugar industry. Hippo’s share of the total industry sugar sales was 52.54%. Due to duty-free sugar imports from the region, total industry sugar sales into the domestic market were -18% below the comparable period last year. Export sales volumes rose by 68% to 67,527 tons as local sugar producers countered the impact of cheap imports locally. Hippo registered a total revenue of ZWL977.7 billion in the 3rd quarter, which was 77% above corresponding period in the prior year due to hyperinflation-induced price adjustments.

In a Trading Update for the third quarter ended 31 December 2023, OK Zimbabwe Limited alluded that its overall trading volumes dwindled by a staggering -32% against corresponding period in the prior year. In the 9-months to 31 December 2023, volumes were -28% down against comparable period last year. The decline in volumes was attributed to what the business referred to as stringent supplier payment terms on Zimbabwean Dollar denominated purchases as well as and credit limitations on foreign currency denominated purchases as these reportedly affected stock availability and pricing dynamics during the quarter. Meanwhile, the Group’s overall revenue grew by 50% in inflation adjusted terms to ZWL568 billion owing to hyperinflation-induced price adjustments.

In a Trading Update for the 3rd quarter ended 31 December 2023, Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) said its performance for the quarter and nine months to 31 December was heavily impacted by deterioration of the Sub-Vertical Rock Winder (SVR) bull gear, after the previously reported initial damage that occurred in September 2022, which depleted the operating capacity of the SVR to 25% by September 2023. Following the procurement of a replacement SVR bull gear which was initially scheduled for completion by 31 October 2023 before the revision to end of February 2024, BNC initiated a transient shutdown of the operations from 22 September 2023. Due to this shutdown, no ore was mined or milled, and no Nickel in concentrates were produced in the quarter under review. In the comparable period in the prior year, BNC mined 51,770 tonnes of ore, milled 50,907 tonnes of ore, and produced 275 tonnes of Nickel in concentrate. In the 9-months to 31 December 2023, BNC recorded a 37% decline in ore mined from 281,560 tonnes in prior corresponding period to 177,179 tonnes due to inactivity in the 3rd quarter. In line with the decrease in the tonnes of ore mined, the tonnes ore milled, at 163,674, were 42% below 281,135 tonnes recorded in the comparable period last year. BNC also said head grade, at 1.10%, declined by 19% from the 1.35% attained in the comparable period last year due to the down dip reduction in the footprint of the high-grade resource. Nickel in concentrates fell by 40% from 2,192 tonnes in prior year to 1,314 tonnes in the 9-months to December 2023 owing to lower milled tonnage and grade of mined ore.

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