Exchange rate scuttling transport operations at Pioneer Corporation

Eric Chiriga

PIONEER Corporation Africa (PCA) says the current exchange rate is adversely affecting the operations of regional transporters.



ns-serif”>”The current exchange rate is affecting margins for regional exporters and there has been a noticeable reduction of economic activity in the first quarter of 2004,” said PCA chairman Hamish Rudland.

Government recently introduced the foreign currency auction system in a bid to get rid of the parallel market and solve the serious foreign currency shortage.

At the foreign currency auction, the rate last week stood at $4 712,86 to the United States dollar and $8 337,70 to the British pound.

The auction rates fall way below those offered on the parallel market where the United States dollar is going for about $6 000 and the British pound $10 000.

Rudland said the PCA was planning to expand its transport business and form regional partnerships.

“Growth and expansion in the Southern African Development Community is seen as key to the success of PCA and to that end regional alliances and joint ventures are underway,” he said.

Rudland said there had been a rapid growth in various new products within the PCA stable.

These include the group’s new contracts division – Pioneer Africa Link, Cross City Courier and the revamped Trek Africa.

He said the tyre business performed exceptionally well and the courier business managed to recoup first half exchange losses.

PCA is the new company that was formed after Clan Holdings Ltd acquired Pioneer Transport Ltd.

Clan is a holding company for a group of businesses involved primarily in the road transport industry across Zimbabwe.

It consists of five main operating entities namely Clan Transport, DD Transport, Trentyre, Trek Express and Skynet.

Last year Clan delivered commendable results with net income growing by 658%, Rudland said.

Pioneer Transport profits grew 747%, beating the inflation of more than 550% prevailing at the time.

Pioneer is a passenger oriented transport company.

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