Bright Madera Senior Business Reporter
THE Grain Marketing Board says it will return to profitability within the 12 months, underpinned by an improvement in sales performance and other income-generating operations. The loss-making parastatal is also realigning its business with staff
reduction and restructuring of its operations, separating the Strategic Grain Reserve from its commercial activities.
GMB chairman Mr Charles Chikaura said increasing grain intake, cost maintenance and concentration on value addition has managed to reduce losses, which should lead to profitability.
According to audited financials, the parastatal made a loss of US$18,7 million in 2010, before recording another loss of US$6,2 million in 2011.
“A further reduced loss of US$1,5 million is projected for the financial year ending March 2012,” said Mr Chikaura.
Sales revenue for GMB was US$11,6 million in 2010, before increasing to US$14,7 million in 2011, representing a 26 percent positive variance.
Mr Chikaura said sales for the year ending March 2012 are projected to be US$19,5 million, a 33 percent increase.
Marginal revenue increases were also seen in other income-generating ventures, with the Strategic Grain Reserve, handling and storage turning over US$4,4 million in 2010 to US$29,2 million in 2011, thanks to an increase in grain intake.
These are expected to increase by 11 percent to US$34,1 million for the 12 months ending March 31, 2012. During the same period, maize intake went up 81 percent from 35 000 metric tonnes in 2009 to 63 469 metric tonnes in 2010 and by 294 percent to 249 792 metric tonnes in 2011.
“It is projected that the 2012 marketing season intake will increase by 20 percent from 2010/2011 figures to about 300 000 metric tonnes.
“This is anticipated to increase handling revenue by for GMB,” said Mr Chikaura.
Meanwhile, GMB is set to be unbundled into five strategic commercial units as part of Government’s parastatals’ rationalisation programme involving 78 State-owned enterprises.
GMB unbundled after it cleared its accounts, dating back to 2008 and structured its board of directors in line with the corporate governance framework.
Mr Chikaura said joint venture proposals are under consideration by the Government.
The board says the proposed separation of the Strategic Grain Reserve from commercial activities will enhance efficiency and improve profitability.
“In order to achieve strategic alignment, GMB intends to reduce staffing levels to 1 300 permanent employees through a combination of organisational restructuring and retrenchment by the end of the 2012/2013 financial year,” said Mr Chikaura.