Padenga eyes more forex retention on VFEX
Nelson Gahadza-Senior Business Reporter
VICTORIA Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX) listed Padenga Holdings, says the successful listing of the company on VFEX during the quarter to September 30 2021, is expected to unlock incremental foreign currency retention for both local farming and mining business.
Padenga, which became the second listing on VFEX, traditionally was a crocodile breeder, skin and meat producer, until recently when the company diversified into gold mining through a successful acquisition of a 50,01 percent shareholding in Dallaglio Investments (Private) Limited.
“The group successfully listed on the VFEX in the earlier part of the quarter. This is expected to see more incremental foreign currency retention come into play, thereby benefiting both the local farming and mining businesses,” Mr Thembinkosi Sibanda, the group’s chairman said in a trading update for the quarter.
Apart from the local operations, Padenga also has alligator operations in the southern USA and is in partnership in an operation producing watch band size and medium size skins of premium quality for the top end luxury and fashion brands. Padenga also produces crocodile meat from its export approved abattoir for sale to European and Asian markets.
According to Mr Sibanda, the Zimbabwe crocodile operation, (Nile crocodile) recorded a 45 percent increase in skin sales volumes to 12,036 year to date compared to prior year’s 8,286.
He said three sales grading’s conducted between March and September with the first grade ratio being consistent with the budget.
“Year to date, a total of 22,903 skins were harvested compared to 22,796 skins in the prior year. The size and quality of the harvestable crop remaining in the pens at the end of the period under review was consistent with expectations to achieve the budgeted skin numbers by year-end,” Mr Sibanda said.
He noted that the Covid-19 pandemic continued to negatively impact demand for crocodile meat by the European market.
“As a result, there were no meat export sales recorded and 36 tons of exports were in stock at the end of the period,” he said.
Mr Sibanda said local market sales resulted in volumes of 150 tons being sold compared to 47 tons in 2020, closing the year with 28 tons of meat for the local market in stock.
In the United States, at Tallow Creek Ranch, skin volumes were down 27 percent to 12,314 compared to 16,916 in the same period.
Mr Sibanda said during the period under review, there were a significant number of carry-over skins from the 2020 financial year that were sold during the current year.
In the US, a total of 11,795 skins had been harvested to date, which is in line with the anticipated full year off take of 13,882 skins.
In terms of mining, at Dallaglio, gold sales volumes for the nine months dropped by 8 percent to 501kg, from 544kg in the comparative period.
“This decrease was mainly due to a weak first quarter performance at Pickstone Peerless mine, caused by excessive rainfall which negatively impacted production,” he said.
Mr Sibanda noted that the newly refurbished Eureka mine started producing gold at the end of July with sales commencing in September.
“The mine contributed 92kg to the gold output, and is expected to ramp up to over 100kg per month by year-end,” he said.
Looking ahead, Mr Sibanda said the Zimbabwe crocodile operation anticipates meeting its skin harvest and quality deliverables for the year and successfully trailed amended operational procedures that are contributing to significantly improved skin quality in young stock over that achieved in prior years.
He added that the business anticipates recommencing exports of crocodile meat to Europe in the last quarter of the year.
Mr Sibanda said Eureka mine is set to produce 103kg of gold per month by the end of December 2021, while at Pickstone Peerless mine, an underground mining feasibility study has started and is expected to complete in the last quarter of 2021.
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