Disappointing year for Zeder

Zeder Investments Limited has experienced a tough financial year, with its sum-of-parts value per share decreasing 8% to R7,85, and total underlying investment portfolio declining from R15,2 billion to R14,2 billion for the period ended 28 February 2018, the company has announced in a statement.

Disappointing year for Zeder

Headline earnings per share decreased by 35,2% to 27,6 cents. Acceptable cash generation by underlying portfolio companies, however, made it possible to declare a dividend of 11 cents/share, similar to last year, the statement said.

Zeder CEO, Norman Celliers, said the company was not used to reporting negative results, but the results had been anticipated due to a combination of decreases reported by its listed investee companies, Pioneer Foods, Capespan, Zaad and Agrivision Africa, which were offset by increases reported by Kaap Agri and Quantum Foods.

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“The results have to be seen in context. Most of the portfolio companies delivered acceptably against operational targets amidst a challenging year, with political uncertainty and the further deterioration of the fiscal stance of South Africa eroding business and consumer confidence in combination with the impact of the drought that had to be managed,” Celliers said.
He expressed confidence that the company was well positioned for growth and would be able to maintain its current position during the coming financial year: “Many of the factors responsible for the poor performance have since improved. Pioneer has managed to work off the impact of last year’s expensive maize purchase and debt levels of many of the portfolio companies have improved.”

“We will continue to look for new investment opportunities in the agribusiness industry, as we believe it should offer attractive long-term returns despite inevitable cyclicality,” he said.