Zambeef Products PLC on Wednesday reported a widened pretax loss in its recently-ended financial year as it suffered from the depreciation of the Zambian kwacha, but said it is working to reduce debt in US dollar terms so it will be less susceptible to exchange losses in the future.
The company, which produces and sells meat and dairy products in Zambia, Nigeria and Ghana, said its pretax loss in the year ended September 30 widened to USD5.0 million from USD1.7 million the year before, as it was severely hit by the rapid depreciation of the Zambian kwacha.
Pretax profit excluding exchange losses, however, grew to USD15.1 million from USD2.2 million, as revenue rose to USD220.2 million from USD211.6 million.
Zambeef said it made a particularly good performance in its core cold chain food products business, despite significant macro-economic challenges, while it reduced its net debt by USD46 million following the sale of its subsidiary business Zamanita.
Zambeef reiterated that it has converted some US dollar-denominated debt to Zambian kwacha, in order to reduce the negative impact of the devaluation of the kwacha.
“We believe that the continued execution of our strategy will put Zambeef in a strong position to take advantage of the growth opportunities available. Therefore we look forward to making continued progress towards our aim of becoming a leading regional food supplier,” Chairman Jacob Mwanza said in a statement.
Shares in Zambeef were trading down 1.9% to 6.38 pence Wednesday morning.