AFRICA – Regional seed producer, Seed Co International Limited has reported a 57.3% rise in revenue for the half year period ended September 30, 2020 to US$27.9 million from US$17.7 million achieved in the prior year.
The increase in revenue according to the company was largely driven by early seed deliveries to customers in Malawi and Zambia combined with strong demand in Nigeria.
Also exports from Kenya to Rwanda drove the increase in both maize seed sales volumes which rose by 56.6% during the period under review.
A combination of cost management measures and limited cross border travelling due to Covid-19 lockdowns resulted in 5% reduction in operating expenses as compared to prior period.
Finance costs for the period under review were down by US$0.1 million marginally to US$1.5 million attributable to rate concessions by banks due to Covid-19, and a decline in the overall debt position compared to the prior comparable period.
Overall the seed producer achieved a profit of US$2.5m making a turnaround from a loss of US$2.5m of the comparable period last year.
Looking ahead, Seed Co expects heightened seed demand as food security takes centre stage in most countries.
This is expected to be further enhanced by the preliminary regional weather forecasts indicating normal to above normal rainfall.
Meanwhile, the producer of certified seed is targeting 10 percent share of the South African market, which will be achieved through its joint venture project with Limagrain and K2.
Since July, Seed Co’s operations in South Africa and eSwatini became part of the enlarged business entity, Limagrain Zaad SA, created from the merger of K2, Link Seed and Seed Co operations in these markets.
Seed Co chief executive officer Mr Morgan Nzwere has revealed that the company will take up a 20 percent stake in the joint venture project.
“In eSwatini and South Africa what we have done with our business is that we have formed a joint venture with Limagrain and K2. We are targeting 10 percent market share in terms of the maize seed business as a joint venture.
“Seed Co will effectively have a 20 percent shareholding in that joint venture. The other parties, Limagrain and K2 will have the balance of the shareholding,” he said.
Limagrain Zaad SA was formed to create one new company to provide a superior multi-crop portfolio of products and services to producers in southern Africa.
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