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Barclays Africa Group earnings increase as impairments decline

Barclays Africa Group, one of the largest banking groups in Africa, on Thursday released its first annual financial results since the successful conclusion of the reduction by Barclays PLC of its majority shareholding in Barclays Africa Group last year.

The group reported a 4% increase in headline earnings in 2017 as impairments declined substantially from high base in 2016. Return on equity remained strong at 6. 4%. When presenting the results, Barclays Botswana Managing Director Reinette van der Merwe said Barclays Africa Group continues to have solid balance sheet assets of R 1. 2 trillion and strong capital and liquidity levels- these are measures of the strength of buffers banks have in place to protect customer deposits.

He said its headline earnings, a measure analysts use to gauge profitability, grew despite the continued slow economic expansion in some of the Group’s largest markets, including South Africa, where the Group generates approximately 80% of its income. Barclays Africa Group’s separation from Barclays PLC is progressing well and the parties continue to work together to ensure a seamless separation. The group is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and is one of Africa’s largest diversified financial services groups. As of June 2017, Barclays PLC was a minority shareholder in Barclays Africa Group.

With the process of separating from Barclays PLC well under way, including receipt of the R 12, 1 billion settlement contributions in June 2017, BAGL has reported both IFRS compliant financial results and a normalized view. The latter adjusts for the consequences of the separation and better reflects the Group’s underlying performance. The Group will present normalized results for future periods where the financial impact of separation is considered material.

Normalization will adjust for the following items: endowment income on Barclays PLC’s R 12. 1 billion separation contribution (2017: R 325 m); hedging revenue linked to separation activities (2017: R 80 million); operating expenses (2017: R 1 901 million) and other expenses (2017: R 394 million), plus the tax impact of the aforementioned (2017: R 408 million). In total, these adjustments added R 1 245 million to normalized group headline earnings during the period. Since normalization occurs at a group level, it does not affect divisional disclosures.

Rest of Africa Banking’s non- interest income declined by 7% to R 4 853 million due entirely to the strong Rand, as constant currency growth was 3%. CIB Rest of Africa declined 6% to R 2 297 million, but increased 5% in constant currency. RBB Rest of Africa fell 8% to R 2 550 million, which was 1% higher in constant currency.

WIMI’s non- interest revenue grew 6% to R 5 128 million, reflecting 6% higher Life Insurance net premium income and policyholder and reserving adjustments recognised in 2016 which did not recur.  Ernst & Young Inc. (EY) and KPMG Inc (KPMG), Barclays Africa Group Limited's independent auditors, have audited the consolidated annual financial statements of Barclays Africa Group Limited from which management prepared the summary consolidated financial statements. The auditors have expressed an unqualified audit opinion on the consolidated annual financial statements.

The summary consolidated financial statements comprise the summary consolidated statement of financial position as at 31 December 2017, summary consolidated statement of comprehensive income, summary consolidated statement of changes in equity and summary consolidated statement of cash flows for the reporting period then ended and selected explanatory notes, excluding items not indicated as audited.

The audit report of the consolidated annual financial statements is available for inspection at Barclays Africa Group Limited's registered office. These summary annual consolidated financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2017 have been audited by EY and KPMG, who expressed an unmodified opinion thereon.

A copy of the auditors’ report on the summary consolidated financial statements and of the auditors’ report on the annual financial statements are available for inspection at the Group’s registered office, together with the financial statements identified in the respective auditor’s reports.  

South Africa Banking headline earnings grew 4% to R 12 200 million. Within this, Retail and Business Banking (RBB) SA headline earnings rose 1% to R 8 874 million due to 16% lower credit impairments and improved second half revenue growth. Retail banking headline earnings were flat R 6 546 million, while Business Banking grew 1% to R 2 328 million. Corporate and Investment Bank (CIB) rose 16%, given 5% higher pre- provision profits and 44% lower credit impairments.

Corporate rose 8% to R 1 143 million and Investment Banking increased 22% to R 2 183 million. Rest of Africa Banking headline earnings grew 7% to R 2 954 million, or 24% in constant currency. RBB Rest of Africa declined 6%, despite rising 19% in constant currency, while CIB Rest of Africa grew 8% and 21% in constant currency. WIMI’s headline earnings decreased 8% to R 1 156 million, reflecting higher catastrophe event claims, unwinding of a Life deferred tax asset raised in 2016 and a single client credit impairment in Wealth.

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Business

Botswana records first trade surplus since January

7th October 2021
Botswana-records-first-trade-surplus-

Botswana has recorded its first trade surplus for 2021 since the only one for the year in January.

The country’s exports for the month of July surpassed the value of imports, Statistics Botswana’s July International Merchandise Trade data reveals.

Released last Friday, the monthly trade digest reports a positive jump in the trade balance graph against the backdrop of a series of trade deficits in the preceding months since January this year.

According to the country’s significant data body, imports for the month were valued at P7.232 billion, reflecting a decline of 6.6 percent from the revised June 2021 value of P7.739 billion.

Total exports during the same month amounted to P7.605 billion, showing an increase of 6.1 percent over the revised June 2021 value of P7.170 billion.

A trade surplus of P373.2 million was recorded in July 2021. This follows a revised trade deficit of P568.7 million for June 2021.

For the total exports value of P7.605 billion, the Diamonds group accounted for 91.2 percent (P6.936 billion), followed by Machinery & Electrical Equipment and Salt & Soda Ash with 2.2 percent (P169.7 million) and 1.3 percent (P100.9 million) respectively.

Asia was the leading destination for Botswana exports, receiving 65.2 percent (P4.96 billion) of total exports during July 2021.

These exports mostly went to the UAE and India, having received 26.3 percent (P1. 99 billion) and 18.7 percent (P1.422 billion) of total exports, respectively. The top most exported commodity to the regional block was Diamonds.

Exports destined to the European Union amounted to P1.64 billion, accounting for 21.6 percent of total exports.

Belgium received almost all exports destined to the regional union, acquiring 21.5 percent (P1.6337 billion) of total exports during the reporting period.

The Diamonds group was the leading commodity group exported to the EU. The SACU region received exports valued at P790.7 million, representing 10.4 percent of total exports.

Diamonds and Salt & Soda Ash commodity groups accounted for 37.8 percent (P298.6 million) and 6.2 percent (P48.7 million) of total exports to the customs union.

South Africa received 9.8 percent (P745.0 million) of total exports during the month under review. The Diamonds group contributed 39.9 percent (P297.4 million) to all goods destined for the country.

 

In terms of imports, the SACU region contributed 62.7 percent (P4.534 billion) to total imports during July.

The topmost imported commodity groups from the SACU region were Fuel; Food, Beverages & Tobacco, and Machinery & Electrical Equipment with contributions of 33.3 percent (P1.510 billion), 17.4 percent (P789.4 million) and 12.7 percent (P576.7 million) to total imports from the region, respectively.

South Africa contributed 60.1 percent (P4.3497 billion) to total imports during July 2021.

Fuel accounted for 32.1 percent (P1.394 billion) of imports from that country. Food, Beverages & Tobacco contributed 17.7 percent (P772.0 million) to imports from South Africa.

Namibia contributed 2.0 percent (P141.1 million) to the overall imports during the period under review. Fuel was the main commodity imported from that country at 82.1 percent (P115.8 million).

During the months, imports representing 63.5 percent (P4.5904 billion) were transported into the country by Road.

Transportation of imports by Rail and Air accounted for 22.7 percent (P1.645 billion) and 13.8 percent (P996.2 million), respectively.

During the month, goods exported by Air amounted to P6, 999.2 million, accounting for 92.0 percent of total exports, while those leaving the country by Road were valued at P594.2 million (7.8 percent).

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Business

The 2021/2022 Stanford Seed Transformation Program Begins

7th October 2021

Founders from twenty companies have been accepted into the program from Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa

The 4th Cohort of the Stanford Seed Transformation Program – Southern Africa (STP), a collaboration between Stanford Graduate School of Business and De Beers Group commenced classes on 20 September 2021. According to Otsile Mabeo, Vice President Corporate Affairs, De Beers Global Sightholder Sales: “We are excited to confirm that 20 companies have been accepted into the 4th Seed Transformation Programme from Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. The STP is an important part of the De Beers Group Building Forever sustainability strategy and demonstrates our commitment to the ‘Partnering for Thriving Communities’ pillar that aims at enhancing enterprise development in countries where we operate in the Southern African region”. Jeffrey Prickett, Global Director of Stanford Seed: “Business owners and their key management team members undertake a 12-month intensive leadership program that includes sessions on strategy and finance, business ethics, and design thinking, all taught by world-renowned Stanford faculty and local business practitioners. The program is exclusively for business owners and teams of for-profit companies or for-profit social enterprises with annual company revenues of US$300,000 – US$15million.” The programme will be delivered fully virtually to comply with COVID 19 protocols. Out of the 20 companies, 6 are from Botswana, 1 Namibia, and 13 South Africa. Since the partnership’s inception, De Beers Group and Stanford Seed have supported 74 companies, 89 founders/CEOs, and approximately 750 senior-level managers to undertake the program in Southern Africa.

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Business

Minergy overcomes challenges – improves revenue and produces record breaking coal sales to date

7th October 2021
Minergy

Minergy, the coal mining and trading company with the Masama coal mine, this week released results for the year ended 30 June 2021. The company achieved revenue of P193 million (2020: P81 million) with significant improvement in sales volumes surpassing 415 000 tonnes sold for the year.

The performance was divided into two distinct periods with very different operating environments. The first eight-month period (July 2020 – February 2021), was negatively impacted by delayed funding, COVID-19 impacts and excessive rain; and the last four-month period (March – June 2021), was a more stable production environment moving toward nameplate capacity.

According to Minergy CEO, Morné du Plessis, production and sales initially recovered in July and August 2020 with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and recoveries were further bolstered by the successful launch of the rail siding. Delays experienced in concluding the funding contributed to contractors limiting operations to manage arrears.

“However, the heavy rains we experienced from December 2020 through February 2021 flooded the mine pit making access difficult and impacting both production and sales. Fortunately, the rain subsided in March 2021, and we entered a more stable environment, with a positive impact on operations. Good recoveries in production and sales were experienced during the last four-month period of the year, with the mine moving closer toward a breakeven position.”

“Despite these operational constraints, including the effects of COVID-19 on logistics and manning of shifts, we expect to reach consistent nameplate capacity in the 2022 financial year,” du Plessis added.

FINANACIAL REVIEW

In addition to the revenue reported above, the company incurred costs of sales of P256 million (2020: P150 million) with operating costs of P23 million (2020: P31 million). This effectively resulted in an operating loss of P86 million (2020: P100 million). Finance costs of P51 million (2020: P17 million) were incurred, bringing the net loss before taxation to P136 million (2020: P117 million).

Du Plessis explains that the adverse conditions in the first eight-month period contributed to 86% of the gross loss, while the more stable four-month period alone contributed to 50% of total sales value, helping to decrease monthly gross losses, albeit below breakeven levels.

The company benefited from a strengthening in the South African Rand (“ZAR”) supporting higher back-on- mine sales prices.

“As announced, we’re pleased to have secured P125 million of additional convertible debt funding through the Minerals Development Company Botswana (Proprietary) Limited (“MDCB”). Minergy remains grateful for this support.”

He added that the first tranche of additional funding provided by the MDCB had been received in December 2020, which allowed Minergy to settle the majority of the contractor’s arrears and allowed their teams to be remobilised. The second and final tranche was paid post the financial year-end and will allow the business to reach nameplate capacity in the new financial year.”

COAL SALES AND MINE PERFORMANCE

Sales volumes increased by 110%, supported by increased sales in Botswana and internationally in South Africa and Namibia. Sales for June 2021 exceeded 56 000 tonnes, a record since the inception of the mine, with pricing increasing late in the financial year on the back of buoyant international prices and a strengthening ZAR.

Minergy also concluded a further 12-month off-take agreement to the existing off-take agreement, with a further agreement finalised post year end.

Overburden moved during the reporting period increased by 86% and extracted coal by 50%. Coal mined in June 2021 alone exceeded 100 000 tonnes. “This is a good performance considering the challenges faced such as sacrificing pre-stripping activities for a period to manage arrears, excessive rain and COVID-19,” du Plessis indicated.

“The wash plant was initially starved of coal due to the factors noted already. Despite this, overall plant throughput performance was 37% higher than 2020. Consistent output was supported by the completion of the Stage 2 rigid crushing section as well as the water saving dewatering screen with filter press contributing to a reduction in water usage of 60% per tonne of coal. A record throughput of more than 84 000 tonnes was achieved in March 2021 and this consistency has been maintained.”

OUTLOOK

According to du Plessis, the completion of Stage 4 of the Processing Plant, the rigid screening and stock handling section, remains a key optimisation step, which has associated benefits. “The completion was unfortunately delayed by a southern African wide shortage of structural steel but was commissioned post year-end.”

Minergy expects the positive momentum in international coal pricing for southern African coal to remain in place. Higher coal prices have resulted in coal being withdrawn from the inland market in favour of lucrative international markets. Du Plessis added that the regional market is currently under- supplied with sized coal, which supports higher pricing and new customer opportunities for Minergy.

“Our objective for the 2022 financial year is to achieve nameplate capacity by completing final ramp-up of operations. This will enable the company to generate sufficient cash flow to stabilise the business at breakeven or better. The bullish coal market is also providing support. COVID-19 will still be closely managed, and we look forward to the lifting of the State of Emergency, as announced, and trust that vaccination programmes will achieve herd immunity in Botswana during the next 12 months.”

Du Plessis expressed his excitement on prospects stating that, “The Eskom due diligence process is continuing, and we are hopeful of receiving feedback during the current financial year. In addition to this opportunity, Minergy is also investigating participation in the request by the Government of Botswana to provide a 300MW power station for which the company has been shortlisted.”

The approved process to issue shares for cash is showing positive leads and he concluded by saying that a listing in London is still being investigated.

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