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Omnia sees further growth in targeted sectors, interim earnings up 30% – Creamer Media’s Engineering News

JSE-listed diversified chemicals producer Omnia grew its interim earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, excluding its Zimbabwean operations and impairments, by 30% year-on-year to R1.4-billion for the six months ended September 30.

This resulted in the group’s adjusted headline earnings a share from continuing operations being 32% higher year-on-year, at R4.01.


Group revenue from continuing operations (excluding Zimbabwe) increased by 19% to R11.6-billion, while operating profit from continuing operations (excluding Zimbabwe) rose by 47% to R1.1-billion, with the operating margin from continuing operations (excluding Zimbabwe) growing from 7.5% in the first half of the prior financial year to 9.2% in the six months under review.

Working capital increased to R5.2-billion for the six months, driven by high commodity prices and increased investments in inventory, largely in the agriculture segment owing to a more normalised sales cycle. Sales volumes increased in the second quarter and working capital is expected to decrease for the full year.


After investing R2.1-billion in working capital, Omnia maintained a positive net cash balance, excluding lease liabilities, of R140-million. This resulted in Omnia being able to meet supply to its customers in a tough and challenging environment.

CEO Seelan Gobalsamy says that, against a complex and challenging macroeconomic backdrop, Omnia leveraged the underlying strength of its business model to execute its strategy.

The successful implementation of the group’s operating model resulted in an improved performance and ensured the security of supply of ammonium nitrate, despite ammonia supply constraints, to enable the group to meet customer demand across all business segments.

“Our supply chain optimisation programme and integrated manufacturing capabilities supported the group’s competitive position, agility and responsiveness in a dynamic market environment to deliver to our agriculture, mining and manufacturing customers. This unlocked efficiencies, which enhanced margins and profitability,” he says.

Additional key performance drivers include an improvement in the volume margin mix, and greater sales of specialty and value adding chemicals in an elevated commodity price environment.

Meanwhile, in line with its commitment to lower the environmental impact of its operations, Omnia invested in a reverse osmosis (RO) water treatment plant and a solar energy plant at its Sasolburg operations.

The RO water treatment plant, which was commissioned in August, treats cooling water blow-down to produce potable water which is reused in the manufacturing process, thereby reducing effluent discharge and saving about 180-million litres of potable water a year.

Commissioned in October, Sasolburg’s solar energy plant generates 5 MW, which together with electricity generated from excess process steam at the nitric acid plants, translates into between 25% and 35% of the plant’s yearly electricity requirement.

In addition, the EnviNox emission abatement system in Sasolburg resulted in a 31% reduction in carbon emissions.


Omnia’s agriculture segment (excluding Zimbabwe) delivered a 17% increase year-on-year in net revenue, to R5.8-billion – supported by growth in the AgriBio business and elevated commodity prices.

However, volumes in this segment reduced year-on-year, largely owing to South African farmers buying inputs later in the season in anticipation of softening commodity prices, inclement weather delaying harvesting and the deferred contract process in Zambia.

Operating profit for the agriculture segment rose 34% year-on-year to R658-million, owing to the segment’s focused strategy of enhancing margin mix, which was supported by efficient manufacturing facilities and an agile supply chain.

As for mining, Omnia benefited from a supportive commodity price environment which enabled the segment to achieve a 32% year-on-year increase in net revenue, to R4.3-billion, and a 44% rise in operating profit to R359-million.

However, this was partially offset by above inflationary input cost increases and lower volumes, amplified by inclement weather, industrial action, regulatory challenges and loadshedding.

The strained mining and manufacturing sectors in South Africa constrained used oil supply – a key input in the segment’s emulsion explosives, which adversely affected margins. Nonetheless, Omnia implemented a new used oil collection strategy, which includes broadening the supplier network and commissioning a new processing facility.

Omnia’s chemicals segment’s net revenue remained stable at R1.4-billion, as momentum was gained in transitioning to a specialty chemicals business across key sectors of the market.

In this segment, operating profit more than doubled to R104-million, benefitting from product-mix improvements across the business, with the emphasis placed on building a portfolio of high-performance specialty and environment-friendly products and solutions to supplement traditional chemistries.

Further, successes were achieved in the agriculture, consumer care and industrial sectors, with advances being made in biodegradable cleaning and coatings chemicals.

Going forward, Omnia is anticipating growth in targeted sectors, as the expansion and extension of the speciality products portfolio gains further traction, and should provide a sustained uplift in margins and profitability.

In the medium term, the development of green, environment-friendly alternative chemistries and technologies across the sectors remains a major strategic focus area for the business.

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S Africa’s Ramaphosa faces impeachment threat over farm scandal – Zimbabwe Independent

An independent panel appointed by the speaker of South Africa’s parliament has found preliminary evidence that President Cyril Ramaphosa violated his oath of office, findings that could lead to his eventual impeachment.

Parliament will examine the report, which was submitted on Wednesday, and decide whether to push ahead with impeachment proceedings next week.

This comes just weeks before an elective conference that will decide if Ramaphosa gets to run for a second term on the governing African National Congress’s (ANC) ticket at 2024 polls.

The president immediately denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crimes.

“I categorically deny that I have violated this oath in any way, and I similarly deny that I am guilty of any of the allegations made against me,” Ramaphosa said in a statement issued by the South African presidency on Wednesday.

On Thursday, he delayed an appearance in parliament to answer questions, requesting time to consider the report, noting that the panel’s recommendations had “implications for the stability of the country,” parliament said in a statement.

In June, it emerged that an estimated $4m in cash was stolen from Ramaphosa’s game farm in 2020, raising questions about how the billionaire president, who took to power on the promise of fighting corruption, acquired the money and whether he declared it.

The three-person panel was set up in September and tasked with ascertaining whether there was sufficient evidence to show that Ramaphosa committed a serious violation of the constitution or the law or grave misconduct, National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said when she was handed the report earlier on Wednesday.

The panel said Ramaphosa should face further scrutiny on his ability to stay in office.

“In all the circumstances, we think that the evidence presented to the Panel, prima facie, establishes that the president may be guilty of a serious violation of certain sections of the constitution,” the report found.

These include not reporting the theft directly to police, acting in a way inconsistent with holding office and exposing himself to a clash between his official responsibilities and his private business.

While Ramaphosa has confirmed that a robbery occurred at his farm, he said the cash was from proceeds from the sales of game. He has denied breaking the law or any regulations relating to his office.

John Steenhuisen, the leader of South Africa’s main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), said Ramaphosa was in a tight bind, Reuters news agency reported.

“The report itself leaves the president in a virtually untenable position, particularly as it relates to his own party’s step-aside rules and the strong line that he has taken against others within his party,” he said.

Ramaphosa came to power in 2018 on a promise to root out graft after the corruption-stained era of his former boss, Jacob Zuma, and has generally insisted that any party official accused of corruption leave office pending investigations.

The alleged cover-up has tarnished the president’s reputation and overshadowed his bid for re-election at the helm of the ANC.

Ramaphosa, 70, is the favourite to win at the ruling party’s December 16-20 conference, where he faces a challenge from Zweli Mkhize, 66, an ex-health minister who resigned from the government last year amid corruption allegations.

In November, the spokesperson to the president, Vincent Magwenya, told journalists that Ramaphosa would “gladly step aside” if he were to be criminally charged.

The chances of impeachment are slim given the ANC’s dominance of parliament, where it holds 230 seats, or nearly 60 percent of the total, and typically votes along party lines. Impeaching a president requires a two-thirds majority.

The inquiry is separate from a criminal investigation that police are conducting, and which Ramaphosa has welcomed.

The report will be debated in the national assembly on December 6, said the speaker, Mapisa-Nqakula.

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America, Europe easing their stance on Zimbabwe – Bulawayo24 News

The current economic stability prevailing in the country is indirectly forcing the West to mend its relations with Zimbabwe, economic analysts have said.

Economic analysts, Abednigo Matsika said that the recent developments that include the invitation to the US-Africa summit and proposals towards re-joining the Commonwealth were a manifestation of how President Mnangagwa’s Engagement and Re-engagement policy was bearing fruits.

“We are witnessing a change of stance by the West on Zimbabwe. Of late, the West has been warming up to the Government and has been pouring money to support various developmental projects in the country. Recently, the EU pledged over 100 million Euros to support women empowerment and agriculture programmes in the country. This shows that relations between the West and Zimbabwe are thawing,” said Matsika.

Matsika added that days of Zimbabwe’s isolation by the West were coming to an end. He said the sudden surge of traffic by the EU, US and the United Kingdom (UK) into Zimbabwe was positive and will lead to the removal of the illegal sanctions imposed on the country by the West.

In explaining how Zimbabwe-West relations were warming up, Matsika said that last week, the country and EU signed financial agreements totalling US46 million under the Zimbabwe-EU cooperative programme. Matsika added that the US46 million aid was an affirmation that the engagement and re-engagement drive with the international community was bearing fruits and that the EU was rapidly moving out of the sanctions orbit.

According to Matsika, the recent visit by the Commonwealth delegation led by Assistant Secretary General, Luis Franschesci shows that the bloc was willing to have Zimbabwe as member of that community. He added that the imminent readmission of Zimbabwe to Commonwealth would spur economic growth and open an avalanche of business opportunities for the country.

Meanwhile, a source within CCC said that the thawing of relations between Zimbabwe and the West had triggered uncertainty within that party which traditionally survives on Zimbabwe’s isolation from the rest of the World. The CCC feels that these developments would rob it of an advantage of boasting that they have the keys to the removal of sanctions and to good relations with the West.

The source said that CCC was plotting to stage violent demonstrations to tarnish the image of the Government.

“The CCC leadership has been shocked by the thawing of relations between Zimbabwe and the West. We are now planning to stage violent demonstrations in a bid to compel the state security to arrest participants. The idea is to portray Zimbabwe as a country that represses the opposition voice,” said the source.

The source further claimed that Chamisa recently held a caucus meeting with his few trusted lieutenants and expressed worry over the surveys that continue to signpost a ZANU PF victory in the forthcoming elections.

According to the source, Chamisa informed his friends in the region and beyond that a political strategist had advised him to stage violent protests in the country and blame ZANU PF for the same. The move according to the source is meant to force the West to tighten up screws on sanctions.

“Without sanctions, we are gone. We must create conditions that help our supporters, including those in the UK and US to disrupt the reengagement process. We would disrupt the current economic stability .We need economic pain to win,” said the source.

The source added that Chamisa was assembling a team of ruffians who would stage the demonstrations and subsequently get arrested.

On the other side, a ZANU PF supporter Regai Chandiwana of Seke argued that the improvement of relations between Zimbabwe and the West and the possibility of the removal of sanctions would level the electoral playing field which had, hitherto been skewed in favour of the opposition.

“They had the advantage of holding the electorate hostage by threatening to ensure that sanctions would continue to bite if citizens do not vote for the CCC. If   sanctions are lifted, then for the first time in history elections would be fair,” said Chandiwana.

Meanwhile, efforts to get a comment from CCC interim national spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere were futile as her phone was not reachable.

All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24’s community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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National Foods new mill to increase capacity by 2 000 tonnes per month – The Zimbabwe Mail

ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange (ZSE) listed food processing giant National Foods Holdings Limited’s new mill at their Bulawayo site is set to increase wheat milling capacity by 2 000 tonnes per month.

In an annual report for 2022, the company’s chairman Mr Todd Moyo said the new mill is set to start operating early next year.

“The installation of the new mill at our Bulawayo site has commenced and the mill remains on track for commissioning early in 2023.

The new mill will increase wheat milling capacity by around 2 000 tons per month,” he said.
The establishment of the new flour mill in Bulawayo comes at a time the Government is pushing its devolution agenda of industrialising production zones to boost local economies through employment creation.

In an annual report for 2022, the company’s chairman Mr Todd Moyo said the new mill is set to start operating early next year.

The food processing giant is also embarking on an exciting period of expansion with the entry into a number of new categories, as it seeks to value and add its portfolio of basic products.

Mr Moyo said the introduction of a new milling plant will see the localised manufacturing of products, which had previously been imported, reducing foreign currency requirements and increasing demand for locally processed products.

This is in line with the Buy Zimbabwe campaign, which has seen more people buying more Zimbabwean-made products and is fully supported by the Government as it is critical in attaining an upper-middle-class status by 2030 anchored by the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).

“The prospects for the current winter wheat crop look encouraging which is a most welcome development as it will reduce import dependency. National Foods continues to play a major role in supporting the local contracted wheat crop,” he said.

The Buy Zimbabwe campaign has helped drive a robust private sector-led initiative resulting in increased local products and the creation of jobs consistent with NDS1.

The chairman added that National Foods continues to keenly support contract farming of maize, soya beans, wheat, sugar beans, sorghum and popcorn.

“During the current winter season around 12 000 hectares of wheat has been planted, representing a significant portion of the contracted crop.

that National Foods continues to keenly support contract farming of maize, soya beans, wheat, sugar beans, sorghum and popcorn.

“In addition to this, 40 000 tons of maize and soya beans were delivered during this year’s summer cropping programme.

“The various products grown under this programme now constitute a significant portion of the Group’s raw material requirements,” he said.

Meanwhile, the food giant’s revenue for the year increased by 33 percent to record $128,4 billion, driven by both volume growth and inflation-driven price increases.

The food giant’s revenue for the year increased by 33 percent to record $128,4 billion, driven by both volume growth and inflation-driven price increases.

The group’s volume for the period increased by eight percent to 569 000 tonnes from 523 480 tonnes compared to the prior year.

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