I am pleased to present to you the Chairman’s Report with respect to the financial year ended 30 September, 2019.
As we had anticipated, 2019 proved a challenging year for the Group, driven by difficult economic and market conditions that impacted negatively on the Group’s financial performance, particularly in the first half of the year. Despite these challenges, the Group still generated a profit after tax of ZMW18.5 million (USD1.5 million) compared to ZMW10.5 million (USD1.1 million) in the prior financial year. This achievement, in the face of such economic and market difficulties, illustrates the Group’s fundamental strengths as a diversified and resilient business.
Set against this challenging macro economic backdrop, the Group’s results were reassuring, especially in the second half of the year, as management took proactive steps to deal with these challenges in both the short and long term, underpinned by continued focus on key strategic initiatives.
The stockfeed operations continued to grow during the year, against the backdrop of the drought, and the division remains a significant contributor to the Group. The division produced 218,762 tonnes of feed in 2019, compared to 200,846 tonnes in 2018, with Mpongwe producing 24.5% more than the previous year.
While we are steadfast in our dedication to enhance shareholder value, in view of the financial performance and debt levels of the Group, no dividend will be paid in respect of this financial year. We will continue to monitor and review our dividend policy.
The macro-economic climate is expected to remain challenging for Zambia in 2020, characterised by high national debt levels, a volatile Kwacha and continued electricity supply constraints, negatively affecting business activity across the economy and in all sectors. This will impact growth of the Zambian economy and have a significant knock-on effect on our customers’ disposable incomes…
I express my sincere thanks to my fellow Board members for leading the Group through this challenging year. To our management and staff, I express our utmost appreciation for your dedicated efforts. As a Board we would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Francis Grogan, who will be retiring effective 31st December 2019. His leadership and profound business acumen have enabled the Zambeef Group to grow by leaps and bounds during his tenure. He has played a significant role in the Group and we all wish him all the very best…
Dr. Jacob Mwanza, Chairman