The Namibian (Windhoek)

18 December 2012

Namibia: Another Successful Year for Agra

AGRA'S net profit for its financial year ended July 2012 was N$44,4 million, up 22% from its previous financial year, the co-operative's latest financial report showed.

Net profit after taxation for the group improved by 28% from N$24,5 million in 2011 to N$31,4 million this year, while total gross turnover increased to N$1, 83 billion.

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 from N$2,6 million in 2011 to N$9,2 million this year, mostly due to lower costs incurred for livestock agents in the central region.

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, an increase of 13,6%. The net operating surplus before head office costs showed an improvement of 18% - N$58,2 million compared to N$49,3 million of 2011.

Gross income in Agra's property division amounted to N$19,6 million for the year under review.

"Due to the satisfactory growth of Agra's operations in all divisions, it has become necessary to enlarge and upgrade most of Agra's facilities as most branches have outgrown their current available space," Agra said in a statement on its financials.

Major investments have already been made, as for example the purchase of four erven in the Northern Industrial Area which will be used for the new and much larger Agra Windhoek branch. This development will probably be completed by November 2013, Agra said.

More investments are planned for the near future, to ensure that Agra's customer service and customer satisfaction is maintained and improved. During the year under review a fully-fledged Agra branch in Oshivelo was opened, which was one of the highlights of the year.

Agra said the most important issue facing the group in the near future is the conversion of Agra Cooperative Limited into a public company, Agra Limited. After the conversion, which will take place on 1 February 2013, the balance sheet of Agra will be strengthened considerably from a shareholders' base of N$403 000 in Agra Cooperative Limited to N$102 million in Agra Limited.

In his report, Agra chairman Ryno van der Merwe said the group 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 Agra's Professional Services Division and its support of agricultural projects and initiatives.

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