Unifreight Africa profit slows


Transport and logistics giant, Unifreight Africa’s profit after tax for the six months to June 30, 2020, declined 34.5% to ZWL$5.032m from ZWL$7.702m recorded in the prior comparative period on the back of an increase in income tax expenses despite a jump in revenue.

Income tax expenses jumped to ZWL$14.03m in the period under review from ZWL$8.456m.

 The company’s board chairman, Peter Annesle, said the financial results were “slightly disappointing” given the company’s projections but the company was pleased to report an inflation adjusted profit before tax of ZW$19m which is 18% year, given the completely unexpected downturn created by Covid 19 shut downs in April and May.

Revenue for the group stood at ZWL$384m during the period under review from ZWL$344m achieved in the same period last year.

The company’s tonnage was 22% down on prior period last year due to strict lockdown regulations, chairman Annesle said.

“Given that some of our customers were shut down completely and many others were below 50% of normal trading volume, I think we can be very grateful that we came out relatively unscathed in comparison and were able to remain profitable,” Annesle said.

He said the third quarter which is three months after the reported period has shown a dramatic come-back with cumulative revenue on budget and 5% ahead of prior year, and net profit is 36% ahead of budget in real terms.

Annesle said the company’s key performance indicators were moving in the right direction, with improving yields, improving fuel consumption levels which can be attributed to the new fleet, decreasing labour cost per tonne and overall improvement in cost controls which gives the company a great deal of faith in moving towards goods direction.

Unifreight expects to end the year on a high note ahead of budget.

“That said, the reality of the economic outlook in the country is not good at all, and we are preparing ourselves for a very difficult time ahead.

“We are focusing on what we can control, working hard to maintain a positive attitude, and keep searching for pockets of opportunity that have been created, while at the same time protecting shareholder value,” Annesle said.

He said the company was pleased with a robust, yet flexible model and diverse customer base that has kept it going through very difficult times.

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