Namibia

BIDVEST NAMIBIA

Back: J Arnold, S Kankondi, W Schuckmann, Q King. Front: H Timke, T Mberirua, T Weitz. Bidvest Namibia Limited is listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange. Bidvest Namibia’s operating divisions are under two holding companies namely Bidvest Namibia Fisheries Holdings (Bidfish) which is focused on the fishing industry in Namibia and Angola and Bidvest Namibia Commercial Holdings (Bidcom). Bidcom is divided into three divisions, namely Freight, Logistics, Marine Services and Material Handling; Food and Distribution; and Commercial and Industrial Services. Bidfish operates one of Africa’s most efficient fishing fleets and has a high reputation for quality delivery into Namibian and African markets. Horse-mackerel is the core activity, but Bidfish’s product range also includes canned fish, oysters and other products. Operating companies within Bidcom have a broad spectrum of well-recognised brands and an extended distribution network throughout Namibia.

 
Bidvest Namibia
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Sebulon Inotila Kankondi
Chief executive officer

Jan Arnold
Managing director of Bidvest Namibia Fisheries Holdings

Theresa Weitz
Group financial director

Hans-Werner Timke
Managing director of Freight and Logistics

Quentin King
Managing director of Food and Distribution

Theo Mberirua
Commercial director of Bidcom

Werner Schuckmann
Managing director of Commercial and Industrial Products and Services

Highlights and challenges

Bullet Zero fatal accidents highlight the effectiveness of safety initiatives.
Bullet Fishing results impacted by lower quota allocations and high quota purchased in costs.
Bullet Fleet investment maintained and new pelagic vessel Deolinda commissioned.
Bullet Firmer pilchard prices help canning factory return to profit.
Bullet ProTrade Agencies acquired in NAD17,5 million deal.
Bullet Commercial businesses under pressure in highly competitive markets.
Bullet Manica secures a number of shore-based logistics contracts.
Bullet Turnaround at Waltons delivers good growth.

Material issues and risks

Bullet Biomass management remains a focus area. Bidfish liaises closely with the authorities to ensure resources are responsibly managed.
Bullet Several businesses work in inherently hazardous industries (eg fishing and logistics). Management and staff comply with workplace safety regulations. Safety awareness is high and no workplace fatalities were reported.
Bullet Policy shifts create both risk and opportunity.
Bullet Growth of logistics and portside services can be inhibited by delays in government infrastructure investment.
Bullet Foreign competition in the fishing industry has become intense.
Bullet Talent development and retention remain areas of critical management focus.

QUICK LINK: Bidvest Namibia annual report
http://www.bidvest.com/ar/bidvest_ar2013/007.php

Financial performance

Revenue
(NAD million)
Revenue
 
Trading profit
(NAD million)
Trading profit

Non-financial performance

Greenhouse gas emissions
(Scope 1, 2 and 3)
Greenhouse gas emissions
 
Water

Water

CSI spend
CSI spend
 
Injury rate – Bidfish
(LTIFR per 200 000 hours worked)
Injury rate – Bidfish

QUICK LINK:Comparative sustainability data
http://www.bidvest.com/ar/bidvest_ar2013/008.php

Performance and trading conditions

Satisfactory results were recorded overall in the face of significant challenges at the fishing division, our major profit contributor.

Bidfish performance was below expectation, but in the context of a 25% reduction in the fishing quota allocation to the business by the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources the result was creditable.

Though volumes harvested fell, international prices firmed for both mackerel and pilchards, helping to cushion the impact of a lower allocation. Exchange rate weakness was also beneficial on the translation of our earnings on US dollar-denominated fish catches.

Mixed performance was apparent within Bidcom. However, new operational structures proved their worth as tighter focus enabled management to quickly identify opportunities and challenges.

The Freight and Logistics subdivision performed strongly as Manica Namibia optimised the opportunity to expand its services to the oil and gas exploration industry.

The Food and Distribution subdivision was impacted by disappointing results at Caterplus. This business was affected by margin pressure and dislocation in the poultry market ahead of the introduction of legislation to protect local poultry producers. On the upside, access to the facilities and national footprint of T&C created synergies and efficiencies.

Material issues

Policy shifts create both risk and opportunity. Bidfish, our largest division, operates in a highly regulated environment. The net effect of government’s policy to grant additional
rights to community-based entrants to the fishing industry was to reduce the allocation available to our fishing businesses.

Bidfish’s strategy has been to enable new rights-holders – who lack capital to acquire fishing vessels – to obtain a commercial return on their rights through its Trachurus joint venture with community-based industry entrants. The purchase of rights from new rights-holders imposes an extra cost. The cost impact has risen significantly as unregulated foreign vessels increasingly enter Namibian waters and their owners compete strongly for these quotas.

Resource availability is material to fleet utilisation levels. This was highlighted when a survey of the pilchard resource indicated that resource recovery was not as robust as hoped. This led to a lower total allowable catch. Lower pilchard harvests have the potential to impact the operations of the pilchard canning factory operated by our subsidiary, United Fishing Enterprises (UFE).

However, management responded promptly, securing sufficient quotas to maintain jobs at the factory. Subsequently, higher pilchard prices helped the canning plant return to profit.

Exposure to international competition also creates a challenge. Depletion of marine resources in Mauritanian waters and other fishing grounds has led to a growing influx of unregulated foreign vessels. Their incursions can have material effects on the local resource and an unlevel playing field for local operators.

Policy impacts can create opportunities. Recent legislation to protect Namibian poultry producers curtailed poultry imports. As a result, poultry prices have risen substantially, prompting consumers to seek more affordable types of protein. This supports demand for horse-mackerel and creates opportunities for new product development for the Namibian market.

Lack of policy direction around investment in national infrastructure has a material impact. Port facilities at Walvis Bay require expansion and modernisation, but little progress has been made. This inhibits the potential for expansion of portside logistical services.

Talent retention can also create a challenge as businesses in Namibia compete for a limited pool of senior management talent.

Financial performance

Revenue increased by 21,1% to NAD3,6 billion (2012: NAD3,0 billion) while trading profit moved 8,1% lower to NAD592,2 million (2012: NAD632,7 million).

Cash from operations decreased by 16,9% to NAD516,7million (2012: NAD622,0 million).

Highs and lows

Despite exposure on occasion to hazardous working conditions, no fatal workplace accidents were reported – testimony to the high level of safety training and awareness at our operations. The challenge now is to maintain our fatality-free record.

In May, Bidfish commissioned the latest addition to its fleet, the Deolinda.

The vessel was water tested in April and completed its trial fishing stint in May and June. The Deolinda is compliant with Angolan fisheries legislation and will support our Angolan joint venture, Pesca Fresca. Deployment to Angolan waters is expected early in the new period.

The Commercial and Industrial Services businesses returned mixed results.

Last year’s T&C acquisition delivered the expected benefits and the strategy of optimising the potential of our national distribution footprint took an important step forward with the acquisition of the Windhoek non-food products distributor, ProTrade Agencies.

ProTrade benefits from access to T&C expertise and its national distribution channels. T&C achieves strong synergies as a wider range of products can be delivered per drop.

The NAD17,5 million transaction was completed in March.

However, Food and Distribution was impacted by difficulties at Caterplus on relocation from old premises. Corrective action was taken.

Underperformance was apparent at Minolco and Kolok, but Waltons returned to growth, indicating that management’s turnaround strategy is bearing fruit.

Freight and Logistics lead the industry with the roll-out of asset-backed services. The business has invested in materials handling equipment to provide superior service levels.

Manica upskilled in anticipation of a growing workload and during the year won a number of shore-based management contracts issued in Namibia by oil and gas companies.

Collaboration

Synergies and collaboration are increasingly explored.

Caterplus, Patleys South Africa and T&C distribute Bidfish’s canned product under the Ocean Fresh label across Namibia and South Africa. T&C expertise proved helpful to UFE when it recently entered the Botswana market. Our freight division has long provided logistical services to our fishing division.

These collaborative efforts are being stepped up.

Innovation and reinvention

Capital expenditure reached NAD117,3 million (2012: NAD125,0 million) and we continue to innovate and add value.

Even before entering service our new vessel, the Deolinda, became the benchmark for others in the local fishing industry. The vessel is made from fibreglass rather than steel. Lighter construction enables ongoing savings on fuel and maintenance. Less downtime means optimum utilisation.

New opportunities in the realm of marine agriculture are under development. Our Tetelestai aquaculture project has obtained the ministerial approvals to operate an oyster farm four-and-a-half nautical miles off the Patrysberg shoreline. Relocation will avoid the lagoon sulphur eruptions that plagued earlier efforts at commercial oyster cultivation.

The slow rate of biomass recovery in the pilchard sector prompted a review of alternative canned products. Bidfish has launched a “meal in a can” project. Various products are being tested, including canned horse-mackerel.

Computer upgrades are a constant feature of our business. T&C’s tried and tested ACS Embrace operating system has been migrated to Caterplus and ProTrade, creating uniform platforms. New software has been implemented at Kolok and Steiner Namibia while Waltons has almost completed a system upgrade. Manica Namibia is progressing well with the introduction of its track and trace system.

Jobs growth and people development

Development of an effective talent retention policy will be facilitated in the near future by government legislation. From September, government will introduce a system of training levies payable to the National Training Authority. The levy has been set at 1,5% of payroll. Companies that invest in training can then claim rebates.

Though many companies complain about the lack of skilled personnel, not all make significant investment in the development of their people. As a result, businesses with high training budgets find themselves training personnel who are quickly snapped up by other companies.

Hopefully, a national system of training levies and rebates will even the playing field and encourage a more far-sighted approach.

Our training investment remains substantial and amounted to NAD2,8 million.

We continue to sponsor the training of 15 navigation officers and marine engineers at the Russian naval academy in Kaliningrad.

All operations are big supporters of our Walvis Bay training centre. Middle management leadership training, financial management skills and computer training are focus areas. This facility is not only used by our own companies. Outside companies increasingly make use of its facilities.

Empowerment

Formal legislation on black economic empowerment has yet to be tabled. However, Bidvest Namibia’s strategy has been to be legislation-ready well ahead of enactment.

We ensured significant black ownership in 2009 when we listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange. At the same time, we achieved built-in grassroots commitment through the equity participation of Ovanhu and our support of the Namsov Community Trust and the Bidvest Namibia Community Investment.

Development of senior black managers is a strategic imperative and a key goal of our training effort.

In line with our decentralised business model, we devolve responsibility for people development and community support to operating companies as they are close to local needs. All businesses continued to make substantial corporate social investments. CSI spend increased significantly to NAD20,2 million (2012: NAD8,8 million).

One significant change was a concerted effort to better align corporate giving with corporate activities and objectives. Greater focus is also being given to sustainability.

Our commitment to enterprise development includes support for the Namibian Preferential Procurement Council, a key component of government’s strategy to foster corporate support for locally owned SMEs. Registration is not yet compulsory, but our businesses featured strongly in the first wave of companies to apply for NPPC ratings.

Our Freight and Logistics subdivision registered all its operating companies and achieved good empowerment ratings across the board.

Future

The business remains focused on strategic growth and the achievement of operational efficiencies. We have a strong balance sheet and considerable capital resources. We are an acquisitive company and will continue to examine opportunities for acquisitive growth where we see value and the potential for synergies.

Food security is becoming a major focus area for all African states. Our proven ability to supply affordable protein through modern, efficient horse-mackerel fishing and related fishing activities positions Bidfish strongly for future growth.

Challenges may well persist in the fishing sector, but we are confident in our ability to trade profitably in an increasingly competitive market. Our fleet is modern, efficient, well equipped and has the capacity to handle growing volumes.

We remain alert for opportunities to achieve further growth in our core areas of activity – fishing for horse-mackerel and pilchards – and will explore possible entrance into the hake sector. Investment in the south Pacific pelagic fishing grounds and other resource grounds off the African coast will also be investigated.

Our commercial businesses will also seek continued growth.

The pursuit of long-term growth at our Freight and Logistics subdivision is underpinned by increased activity in the oil and gas industry. The demand for shorebased logistics support is rising steadily. Freight and Logistics has the facilities and expertise to optimise these opportunities.

Expansion of logistics services into the Namibia-Zambia trade corridor provides another strategic growth opportunity.

Commercial and Industrial Services faces growing competition and margin squeeze in several areas, including computer consumables and office automation. However, planned expansion into northern Namibia creates opportunities to serve new customers and build additional volumes. The turnaround at Waltons has shown that vigorous action by more focused managers can have material impact on results in a relatively short period of time.

Corrective action at Caterplus and its national reach through closer alignment with T&C will drive a return to growth. The full-year effects of the ProTrade Agencies acquisition will add further momentum.

Bidvest Namibia recommits itself to renewed organic growth across the business while pursuing acquisitive growth nationally and perhaps further afield. We are confident that sustained growth in revenue and trading profit can be achieved.

“Food security is becoming a major focus area for all African states. Our proven ability to supply affordable protein through modern, efficient horse-mackerel fishing positions Bidfish strongly for future growth”

Sebulon Kankondi

 
Registered office South Africa
Bidvest House
18 Crescent Drive
Melrose Arch
Melrose
Johannesburg
2196
South Africa
Website: www.bidvest.com
Telephone: +27 (11) 772 8700
Facsimile: +27 (11) 772 8970
Email: info@bidvest.co.za
 

 

 

 

 

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