Agra Slams Murray and Roberts Over Shoddy Work

AGRA has slammed contractor Murray and Roberts over shoddy work during the upgrading of the Auas Valley Shopping Mall in Windhoek. Agra is upgrading the Auas Valley as part of its capital projects.

CEO Peter Kazmaier said in the financial report for the year ended 31 July 2014 the company had failed to complete phase one of the project which was supposed to be completed in August.

“This has unfortunately not been achieved. At this moment the contractor is not willing to commit to a final completion date. This is a frustrating situation for Agra as the landlord, as it means our tenants must trade while building activities are ongoing and our customers cannot enjoy an unhindered shopping experience,” he said.

Kazmaier said Agra is not satisfied with quality of workmanship in a number of areas, which still has to be addressed with the contractor Murray and Roberts.

“Positive news is however that Pick n Pay has re-launched its Auas Valley store which is the flagship of Pick ‘n Pay stores in Namibia.

The new Safari Den has opened its new shop on the top floor, received many constructive comments and has had two very busy opening days,” he said

EXCEEDING

Kazmaier said Agra exceeded its forecast and budget for net profit before tax by N$8,8 million amounting N$28,3 million compared to a budget of N$19,5 million last year.

Kazmaier said Agra embarked on three major capital expenditure projects. This included the construction of a brand new branch in Opuwo. The other project is the construction of Agra’s flagship Windhoek branch in the Lafrenz Industrial Area.

Kazmaier announced that total gross group turnover increased by 10% to N$1,98 billion. Net turnover for the group increased by 12% from N$1,12 billion in 2013 to N$1,25 billion in 2014.

The board has decided not to declare a dividend, as various capital projects were undertaken during the year under review which will be finalised in the new financial year. These projects will draw heavily on the group’s cash reserves during 2014 and 2015.

Agra’s dividend policy states that to declare a maximum of 20% dividends of net profit after tax for a year, only after contractual liabilities have been honoured, proper provision has been made for capital project financing and sufficient cash is available.

DROUGHT

The drought of 2013 put pressure on the cash flow and disposable income of producers and Agra clients, chairman Ryno van der Merwe said. He said good rains of this year resulted in favourable production conditions for both agronomy and livestock producers.

He said the increase in slaughter prices and good harvests helped producers to generate cash. The stricter regulations for the export of stock to South Africa temporarily had a negative impact on the auction prices, especially prices of weaners.

“These external factors, over which producers have no control, render the agriculture business sector unpredictable and hold certain risks for Agra,” van der Merwe said.

Net profit after tax amounted to N$33,8 million.

“Keeping in mind that producers are usually cautious after droughts to spend on extensive developments, but rather focus on maintenance needs of animals and building their herds, this is a good achievement,” van der Merwe said.

The company said the long term focus remains in the agricultural sector. Agra said 4 073 335 shares were traded on the Namibia Stock Exchange during the financial year at an average price of N$1,10 each.

Source : The Namibian