Agriterra losses grow after 'subdued' interest in corn products
Agricultural investment group Agriterra saw losses widen in the first half of its trading year as subdued demand for its maize flour products slashed revenues by more than a third.
Agriterra sold 4,800 tonnes of maize flour over the six months to 30 September, less than half of 12,600 tonnes it moved twelve months earlier, dragging revenue for the group's grain division down to $1.81m from $5.76m.
Demand remained strong throughout Agriterra's beef division which continued to supply an average of 178 tonnes of beef products per month thanks to improvements in the productivity of its feedlot to better manage reduced supplies of beef in the region.
However, due to the limited supply levels, revenue dipped to $2.26m from $2.64m, but operating losses came in flat at $780,000.
During the half, Agriterra disposed of its cocoa division, warehouse and related support infrastructure and vehicles in Sierra Leone to a group of local businessmen for $500,000.
For the group as a whole, operating losses almost tripled to $2.12m from $768,000 in the same period last year and losses per share moved to $0.23 from $0.13.
Agriterra in August secured a new investment worth $4.3m from Magister Investments in exchange for a 50.01% stake, with the funds deployed to strengthen the group's position in Mozambique, with an initial investment of $0.75m and $0.25m into the grain and beef divisions respectively to reduce their outstanding bank financing.
As of 1545 GMT, shares had retreated 8.92% to 0.169p.