Agra Holds Annual General Meeting for 2019
Agra holds Annual General Meeting for 2019
Published: 03 Dec 2019
Agra Limited held its Annual General Meeting on the 29th of November 2019, at the Agra/Bank Windhoek Ring situated at the Windhoek Industrial and Agricultural Show Grounds. The AGM was attended by the Agra Board Chairperson, the Board of Directors, Agra Management Team, external auditors, shareholders and media.
Mr Ryno van der Merwe, the Agra Board Chairperson welcomed the Shareholders, Board of Directors, Agra Management Team, external auditors, and all attendees. Mr van der Merwe gave an overview of the agricultural sector, he spoke about the prevailing drought which can be backdated as of 2013 and the economic recession in Namibia which has negatively impacted the agricultural sector. “Close to 80% of producers had to sell up to 50% of their stock. Despite the challenging year Agra has managed to adapt and the Board believes that Agra’s financial performance is commendable.”
Mr Arnold Klein, Agra’s CEO gave the financial overview for the financial year ended July 2019. Mr Klein shared the company’s strategy aimed at cost cutting, consolidating debt and attempting to get more preferential interest rates and to focus on stock management and control. He further stated that the company has continued to upgrade various branches and has opened new branches in areas that will contribute to the increase in turnover, such as the new Ondangwa branch. The company has also diversified its product range, to cater to non-farming clients, thus catering for a broader market to ensure the company remains sustainable during these trying times.
The key points highlighted are as follows:
Given the current economic conditions and experiencing one of the worst droughts in recent history, Agra still maintains that, although the profits decreased
from the previous year, the company is appreciative of the positive results. These results did not come easy but was as a result of the management team’s continuous sacrifices and relentless efforts to increase shareholder's wealth. Agra can report positive growth in market share in most of the categories and continued efforts to further diversify the product range and services offered, have resulted in Agra`s revenue for the group to increase from N$1,551 million to N$1,734 million in 2018/2019, representing an increase of 11.8%.
Unfortunately, this did not transcend directly into the same increase in gross profit, as the gross profit for the group came under pressure due to an increase in the proportion of low margin product sales, such as animal feed products. A marginal increase in Gross Profit of 0.5% from N$356 million to N$358 million in 2018/2019 was achieved. The reduction in commission received by the Auction division of N$10.3 million, which is mainly due to a decrease in the price per head, despite the increased number of animals auctioned also contributed to the marginal increase in the gross profit recorded. The operating expenses for the group increased from N$287.9 million to N$304.7 million in 2018/2019, an inflationary related increase of 5.8%.
The finance costs of the group decreased from N$30.5 million in 2017/18 to N$29.8 million in 2018/19, a decrease of 2.3%, which is largely as a result of the decrease in the prime lending rate and repayment of long-term debt. The relative stagnant gross profit paired by increasing costs resulted in the total comprehensive income for the group decreasing from N$32.2 million for the previous year, down to N$24.4 million for the current year under review, which is a decline of 24.2%. Although alarming, this is being monitored very closely and strategies to curb costs as well as to boost revenue are being implemented.
The shareholders were informed that the Board has declared a dividend of 4c per ordinary share resulting in a total dividend of N$408 6515 million declared to ordinary shareholders it was noted that the declaration is in line with the dividend policy of the company, which states, “to declare a maximum of 20% dividends of net profit after tax for a year only after contractual liabilities have been honoured, proper provision has been made for capital project financing and sufficient cash is available.”
No changes were done to the Board, as there were no nominations and thus Mr Benny Amuenje and Mr Jesko Woermann remain Agra board members. Both Amuenje and Woermann’s terms had come to an end but the shareholders expressed confidence in their leadership abilities and will, therefore, serve another term.
As per tradition, the auditing company is elected at this platform, however, it was not done at the AGM because the selection process is out on tender. The shareholders gave Board of Directors the authority to select the preferred auditing company once the selection process has been completed.
Issued By: Ndapewa Neshila | Officer: Communications and Public Relations | Corporate Office | Agra Limited
Tel. +264 61 290 9364 | Fax +264 61 290 9250 |
8 Bessemer Street | Private Bag 12011 | Windhoek | Namibia
Contact Person: Chrislemien Ströh | Senior Manager: Marketing | Corporate Office | Agra Limited