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PG Industries to recapitalise

PG INDUSTRIES will return to the market for recapitalisation before the end of the financial year to pay off its US$6,6 million debt, CEO Hillary Munyati has  said.

The company’s debt  includes a US$4,5 million loan advanced to the group in June.
Munyati said the debt had an average annual interest of 22% for the US$4,5 million and 9% for the balance annually. 
The company was initially hunting for US$15 million but only managed to raise US$4,5 million.
“The group will soon come to the market for a second recapitalisation to boost productivity and retire debt,” Munyati said during an  AGM last  Thursday.
He said the capital fund raising exercise was also expected to pay creditors, replenish stock, retire some expensive borrowings and provide refurbishment or plant replacement at the concrete, glass and board operations.
Munyati was addressing his first AGM after being appointed CEO. He replaced Nyasha Zhou.
Munyati’s appointment was with effect from July 1 and was part of a broad boardroom reconfiguration that saw TA’s chief financial officer, Bothwell Nyajeka and Sable Chemical Industries Limited CEO, Jack Murehwa, assuming new positions as PG Industries directors.
Munyati said the group was forecasting a 60% increase in revenue during the second quarter of the year on the back of strong sales volumes but sees a half year loss.
PG suffered a US$7,6 million loss before tax in the year ending March 31 2010.
“The group had suffered losses in all Small Business Units during the first quarter of the year which was attributed to low stocking levels and high expense ratios,” he said
PG is a manufacturer of fibre board, particle board and safety glass and distributes board glass, timber and related building materials through its network of outlets and third parties in domestic, regional and international markets.
“Demand for products was strong but the group could not take advantage of that due to a shortage in working capital,” Munyati said.
Munyati said the group expects Zimtile and PG Glass to return to profit, a break-even in PG Merchandise whilethe  MBD division, which was shut down in June and July for maintenance, would continue in a loss position.
“Capacity utilisation for safety glass had improved to about 32% from 4% during the first quarter of the year and is forecast to end at about 38% during the second quarter of the year,” he said
Zimtile recently acquired a tile extruder and its capacity utilisation is said to be over 60%. PG said it had deferred plans to expand operations to Zambia as it focuses on improving profitability of its Zimbabwe operations.
Between 2009 and 2010, the group recorded an operating loss of US$5,2 million after recording a turnover of US$23,8 million. The group said that one of its traditional strong performers, distributor PG Merchandising, recorded an operating loss of US$2,8 million, driven primarily by lack of adequate funding to stock the
distribution network with the right products.
The liquidity crunch that has hit the Zimbabwean economy of late, resulting from minimal foreign direct investment inflows, weak economic activity and clogged external lines of credit, has affected both PG’s local and regional operations.


Paul Nyakazeya

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