Victoria Foods mulls resumption of snacks production

AGRO-INDUSTRIAL concern CFI Holdings Ltd says it is looking into opportunities for snack food manufacturing and maize milling at its subsidiary Victoria Foods with prospects of taking the company out of judicial management looking bright.

By Melody Chikono

The company was placed under provisional judicial management together with Crest Poultry Group, after the High Court gave the nod to the group’s application for voluntary placement.

Upon the provisional judiciary management, the firm had been operating below capacity and failed to recapitalise.

However, CFI acting board chair Itai Pasi told an annual general meeting this week that in the first five months into the 2018 financial year, Victoria Foods managed to reduce operation losses driven by a toll milling arrangement it entered in December 2017.

Agrifoods Harare resumed operations in the first quarter of the year and has started reclaiming lost market share at a promising rate, leveraging on CFI Retail’s extensive distribution network and targeting medium to large-scale commercial farmers.

“Effective December 2017, Victoria Foods entered into a six-month toll milling arrangement, and this has assisted in reducing operational losses in the first five months of the 2018 financial year. The opportunities for resumption of production of snack-foods manufacturing and maize milling are being explored,” he said.

Pasi said the CFI board is currently working with the judicial manager and hopes to have Victoria Foods and Crest Poultry Group out of judicial management as soon as the group has agreed on a way forward with the creditors.

Overall, the group’s turnover for the five months to February 2018 increased by 33% to US$29,9 million compared to US$22,4 million in the corresponding prior period. Of the total turnover, retail and farming divisions contributed 96% and 4% respectively. Margins increased by a marginal 1% over prior year. Year-to-year expenses increased by 18% due to increased business activities in the period.

Group borrowings declined by US$1,2 million due to the PTA Bank loan repayment during the second quarter.

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