Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

14 December 2012

Namibia: Agra Converts 1 Feb

day for local agricultural co-op, Agra when it converts to a limited company, switching members' interest to residual shareholding. The conversion will strengthen Agra's balance sheet enormously from the current shareholders' base of N$403,000 in Agra Cooperative Limited to N$102 million in Agra Limited. Agra is set to embark on an extensive capital investment programme to bring its retail network up to standard.

"No dividend has been declared due to the fact that various capital expenditure projects are envisaged for the 2012/2013 financial year and beyond" said CEO, Peter Kazmaier in his report to the annual financial statements.

Kazmaier said "Agra has once again experienced good growth and improved results [for the] financial year ended 31 July 2012. Total gross group turnover increased to N$1, 83 billion. Gross profit for the group increased by 8,3%. Net profit before taxation for the group improved by 22% from N$36,3 million in 2011 to N$44,4 million in 2012. Net profit after taxation for the group improved by 28% from N$24,5 million in 2011 to N$31,4 million in 2012."

The retail and wholesale division of Agra comprising the Agra retail branches, Auas Wholesalers, Auas Vet med and Safari Den reported an improvement in turnover from N$873 million in 2011 to N$991 million in 2012, an increase of 13,6%. The net operating surplus before head office costs showed an improvement of 18%, namely N$58,2 million, compared to N$49,3 million of 2011.

Turnover in the livestock division declined, mostly as a result of a lower number of large and small stock marketed. The net operating surplus before head office costs of this division however improved dramatically from N$2,6 million in 2011, to N$9,2 million in 2012 mostly due to lower costs incurred for livestock agents in the central region.

Gross income in Agra's property division amounted to N$19,6 million.

Agra said due to the satisfactory growth of its operations in all divisions, it has become necessary to enlarge and upgrade facilities as most branches have outgrown their current available space.

The Chairman of Agra, Mr Ryno van der Merwe said in his report: "Agra will continue to invest in the Namibian agriculture sector and will also continue its efforts to improve the knowledge and skills in the various agricultural disciplines by providing training, assistance and support through our Professional Services Division and our support of agricultural projects and initiatives."

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