‘SeedCo Int stocks enough to meet regional demand’
SeedCo International says it has adequate seed stocks to satisfy demand across markets after the group achieved strong yields and quality seed grains in the 2022 production season.
The group, which is incorporated and domiciled in Botswana and listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange and the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange, has subsidiaries, associates, and joint ventures located across Africa.
The countries include Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia.
The group, in its half-year financials to September 30, 2023, said that despite enormous and largely exogenous challenges, the Seed Co. brand continues to demonstrate resilience, as evidenced by open market sales growth in various markets.
“As a result, first-half performance was in tandem with the seasonality of the business. However, the group achieved an interim operating profit of $1,3 million, a rebound from the prior year’s $2,6 million interim operating loss,” the company said.
It added that a combination of volume growth and a better product mix boosted revenue by 23 percent compared to the comparative period.
The company said encouraging first-half maize sales were booked in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia, buoyed by firm grain prices in the region and globally.
“Improved margins and containment of overheads below the USD inflation rate also helped the business post an interim operating profit,” reads the financials.
During the period under review, group net finance costs increased due to higher interest rates and more local currency borrowing facilities utilised to expunge USD-denominated liabilities and manage elevated foreign exchange risk from depreciating regional currencies.
The company said, as is the norm, the group’s inventory levels were at their peak this time of the year in preparation for the main summer selling season.
The group indicated that it will continue to deliver improved products from its research and development (R&D) investment over the years.
“Several new and improved seed varieties are being released in response to climate change and the evolving needs of our farmers,” reads the statement.
The company said the latest forecasts promised normal-to-above-normal rainfall in most parts of East Africa and below-normal rains in Southern Africa from November 2023 to January 2024.
“As a result, the group is well prepared to respond to the needs of farmers in light of the mixed rainfall forecasts.”
The group said a mixed selling season was expected, benefiting from the group’s diversified geographical footprint and a diverse climate-smart product portfolio, with a potential downside from unfavorable rains in Southern Africa.