We have extracted below the Chairman’s Statement from the 2018 annual report of Unifreight Africa Limited (UNIF.zw), listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange:
We continue to build a solid foundation, and have adapted our model to be able to show steady growth
Despite a very difficult trading environment during the 2018 financial year we are pleased to report that we are well on track in our quest of taking Unifreight Africa Limited from “Good to Great”. We continue to build a solid foundation, and have adapted our model to be able to show steady growth both in revenue and profits but more importantly in real terms on the statement of financial position, no matter the country’s economic environment.
Group Revenue of $27.129 million was ahead prior year by 18%, attributable to growth in volumes, however this was below budget owing to lost sales during our normal peak period between October and December. This was as a result of most of our major customers facing serious disruptions due to pricing and re-stocking uncertainties.Higher than budgeted operating expenses of $23.018 million were incurred due to a combined impact of foreign currency shortages and price increase challenges.
While Group profit from continuing operations was below prior year at $1.577 million against prior year of $2.148 million, (which included a non-recurring write back of $952 098 of prescribed pre-dollarisation liabilities), it is important to focus on the very positive cash-flow activity of the business as reported in the Consolidated Statement of cash-flows. Net cash generated from operating activities increased 57% to $3.670 million from $2.3 million and this was spent very productively in $3.232 million purchase of new revenue earning equipment, and $0.857 million repayment of borrowings that had been employed in the purchase of revenue earning equipment in prior years.
The Board prides itself in regularly reviewing revenue growth strategies by ensuring that customers access quality services at affordable prices, and that we are constantly improving the ease of doing business with us. Our mission is to “solve problems” and management’s relentless focus on providing innovative solutions to customer challenges in this environment is bearing fruit.
The Board is excited with progress achieved during the period under review, particularly the acquisition of new revenue earning equipment, and the growth in the statement of financial position in real terms. We are also optimistic with regard to the positive changes in the monetary policy, with the view that it is in favour of formal business flourishing, while the playing field is levelled to include the informal market in the economy.
The Board has recommended the declaration of a dividend of 0.38 cents per share. A separate announcement will be made giving details of payment.
On behalf of the Board, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to our valued stakeholders. I am grateful to my fellow board members for their strategic insight, management and staff for their continued commitment and dedication.
Patrick C Chingoka