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Heads roll at Colcom after audit

A FORENSIC investigation into Innscor Africa Ltd’s subsidiary — Colcom Ltd — claimed the scalp of FD Kenias Horonga and his purchasing manager after the audit unearthed questionable procurement procedures and porous systems at the company, businessdigest has established.

Report by Staff Writer

Colcom announced the resignation of Horonga at the annual general meeting last week effective November 1.

Horonga had served the company for six years.

A new financial director is supposed to have started work this week.
Sources close to the matter say that part of the audit revealed that there were questionable tender procedures where most of the goods procured from South Africa would land at the Colcom offices at inflated prices.

The sources say tenders would be awarded to close associates.

Innscor chief executive Tom Brown is also said to have resigned from the group after five years as head of the diversified firm.

However, other sections say the separation was not amicable.

At the time of going to print, Colcom was expected to have issued a cautionary notice to shareholders advising them of the ongoing audit.

Chief executive Theo Kumalo said Colcom’s turnover in the four months to October grew 22% over the same period last year.

He said notwithstanding the factors currently affecting the operating environment such as liquidity challenges and the grain shortage in the region, the group had managed to achieve growth since year-end.

“There is a near dearth of disposable income while the price of maize has moved up to US$305-US$320/t from US$230/t last year. Soya is now at US$650 from US$500 last year,” said Khumalo.

However, the group had managed to secure stockfeed to cover up to 2013.

Kumalo said Colcom’s performance had been affected by ageing equipment competition from cheap imported chickens from South America.

Nevertheless, the company had installed an automatic feeding system in Grower’s section while another automated feeding system for the Main site would be installed next quarter. This would enhance efficient utilisation of feed.

“These feeding systems are designed to enhance efficient utilisation of feed and increase growth rates of the pigs,” he said.
The group continued to renew its genetics programme asper plan at its Triple C division.

Colcom plans to continue increasing its factory’s emulsification capacity, upgrade technology in the pie factory and acquire another modern swing compressor for refrigeration, as part of increasing operational efficiencies and productivity.

Associated Meat Packers division had opened five more Texas Meats shop in the last quarter and recently opened Texas Chicken, which will sell various brands of chicken.

The group will seek to increase its distribution footprint to cover areas which are not being sufficiently covered at the moment.
Kumalo said the group would also grow its regional markets after having started exporting small quantities to Malawi.

He said the group aims to add three more shops across the country for the remainder of the year.

There group currently has 11 shops.

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