Business Reporter —
AIM-listed Cambria Africa has said Zimbabwe provides the best regional investment opportunities in the short to medium term, group chief executive officer Samir Shasha has said.
This comes after the Zimbabwe focused investment firm, quoted on London’s Alternative Investment Market, posted a 15-fold upturn in earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation in the interim to February 2017.
“The board will continue its search for appropriate value-creating acquisition opportunities primarily through the use of equity subscriptions.
“We believe Zimbabwe provides the best regional opportunity for successful investment and growth in the short- to medium-term,” Mr Shasha said recently.
Cambria’s operations are comprised of Payserv Africa, provider of electronic data intelligence switching services, “pay slip” processing and payroll based micro-finance loan processing and Millchem; a value-added chemicals distributor.
Cambria’s long term objective is focused on capital appreciation through investment in Zimbabwe, countries surrounding Zimbabwe, as well as the remainder of Sub-Saharan Africa, with a bias towards Southern and Eastern Africa.
Cambria says it does not have a particular sectoral focus, but its key objective is building a portfolio of companies well-positioned to benefit from Zimbabwe’s economic growth, formalisation and modernisation of the domestic economy.
Moreover, Cambria says it seeks investments that have current sector leadership in Zimbabwe or, in its view; will be able to achieve this. Cambria’s latest interim financial results reflect an upturn in its fortunes despite the difficult conditions.
The economy is set to turn around from the slowdown mode to modest growth led by key sectors of mining and agriculture, benefiting from normal to above normal rainfall. It is forecast to grow by 1,7 percent in 2017 from 0,6 percent in 2016. Cambria’s largest subsidiary by revenue and profit, Payserv Africa, more than doubled profit after tax to $807 000, reflecting a 126 percent upturn in the unit’s profit on prior year. Payserv Africa’s Consolidated EBITDA increased 55 percent to $1,2 million from $775 000.
Millchem pared its EBITDA loss by 10 percent to $138 000 from $152 000 in the prior year. Excluding legal expenses of $402 000, Cambria increased its consolidated profit by $502 000 to $359 000 from a loss of $143 000. Including legal expenses, Cambria nearly achieved break even, erasing its consolidated loss by 93 percent to $43 000.