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Afriag plc

AfriAg Plc “Business approaching critical mass”

AfriAg Plc (LON:AFRI), the AIM-listed agricultural value chain investing company, has today announced its unaudited interim results for the six month period ended 30 June 2015.

AfriAg reports strong growth for the half year period to 30 June 2015 for perishable trucking agri-logistics with the awarding of the Gatsby Foundation’s Vanduzi exclusive agri-logistics contract and a 40% increase in perishable airfreight logistics compared to the similar period last year, from South Africa to Europe and Asia from AfriAg’s 40% owned specialist African agri-logistics group AfriAg SA (Pty) Ltd (“AfriAg SA”).

As at today’s date, AfriAg Plc is also pleased to report that has now acquired, through its 100% owned marketing division AfriAg Marketing Pty Ltd (“AfriAg Marketing”), four diesel Mercedes trucks and three refrigerated 15.2m (30 pallet) trailers painted in AfriAg colours and have ordered a further three trailers to be delivered and in operation by the end of September 2015. The new fleet is currently servicing clients transporting fresh produce from Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to Johannesburg for domestic distribution there and for airfreight and seafreight to global markets.

The total AfriAg Plc and AfriAg SA trucking fleet is expected to grow to 31 by the end of September 2015 and we plan to add significantly to the fleet over the coming period due to the ever-increasing demand for our bespoke refrigerated agri-logistics solutions in southern Africa.

Gatsby Foundations, Vanduzi Contract – Update:

On 5 February 2015, AfriAg announced that AfriAg SA was awarded a 2 year renewable contract to transport fresh produce farmed by Vanduzi, part of the Gatsby Foundation’s sizeable Mozfoods (SA) operations in Mozambique, to countries such as RSA, UK, Holland, and potential future markets including the UAE. The majority of Vanduzi’s fresh produce ends up on UK and European supermarket shelves such as Sainsbury, Tesco, M&S, Aldi and Asda.

725,000 kg of perishables were transported southbound from Vanduzi in Mozambique to the domestic southern African market and to Johannesburg for the European export markets, by AfriAg SA’s refrigerated trucks, for the six month period from 1 January to 30 June 2015. This included the trial period for the 5 weeks from 1 January to the commencement of the 2 year renewable contract on the 5 February 2015.

Airfreight Logistics – Update:

As announced on 4 August 2015, a total of approximately 907,000 kg of perishable produce was air freighted by AfriAg SA for the second six month period from 1 January to 30 June 2015. This represents a 40 % increase over the 650,000 kg airfreighted for the corresponding period last year. The low oil prices and sustained weakness in the Rand against the Pound and the Euro are having a continued positive effect on AfriAg’s export business.

These perishable goods were trucked by AfriAg’s modern fleet of refrigerated trucks from farming and fishing operations in southern Africa and exported by airfreight from Johannesburg to Europe and Asia from Johannesburg and Cape Town international airports.

Outlook:
The next period to 31 December 2015 is our busy season with southern Africa gearing up to globally export specialist varieties of fruits. AfriAg expects to be very busy this season with trucking and airfreight of blueberries, pineapples, stone fruits (mainly peaches, plums, nectarines and lychees) to Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

In addition, AfriAg Marketing, our 100% owned marketing division, is seeing a big increase in trading and transportation of fresh fruit and vegetables back in to Zambia and Mozambique from South Africa, hence the need to continuously increase the logistics fleet.

Another area of growth anticipated for the period ahead is the expected start of the export of fresh Lucerne (alfalfa grass) from South Africa to the Middle East for the growing dairy industry, camel and goat feed markets. AfriAg SA is gearing up for exports to start from the Northern Cape area in September 2015, with an estimated 20,000 tonnes of exports expected from September 2015 to the end of the Lucerne season around April 2016. All of this product will be transported from the Orange River to Durban by truck and sea freighted to customers in the Middle East.

David Lenigas, Executive Chairman of AfriAg Plc, commented: “The first six months of the financial year are typically the quietest period for agricultural exports from southern Africa. We see a stronger second half in front of us, as the majority of airfreighted perishable goods are harvested and exported during this period due to the seasonal differences between southern Africa and the northern hemisphere.”

“We can now see the business approaching critical mass and the board of directors are now focused on turning this business profitable.”

 

Financial Results:

During the period, the Company increased revenues to £537,000 (six months ended 30 June 2014: nil) and made a gross profit of £49,000 (30 June 2014: nil). The operating loss for the period was £154,000 (six months ended 30 June 2014: loss £58,000). The total comprehensive loss for the period attributable to equity holders of the parent was £169,000 (6 months ended 30 June 2014: loss £154,000).

There was a weighted loss per share of 0.01p (30 June 2014: loss per share 0.05p).

Current assets at 30 June 2015 amounted to £977,000 (30 June 2014: £585,000).

The Board would like to take this opportunity to thank our shareholders, staff and consultants for their continued support and I look forward to reporting further progress over the next period and beyond.

David Lenigas
Executive Chairman
24 September 2015

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