Avian flu costs Irvine's $7.3 million

Avian flu costs Irvine's $7.3 million
Published: 05 October 2017
AN avian flu outbreak at Irvine's in May cost the country's largest chicken producer $7,3 million, a shareholder has disclosed, saying the quarantining of affected sites and culling of birds to prevent potential contagion had far reaching market implications.

The country has had to endure a shortage of eggs and chickens as a result of the avian flu outbreak, which is reportedly now under control.

The Financial Gazette reported two weeks ago that Irvine's culled 140 000 birds at its farm near Harare to contain the outbreak.

About 7 000 more birds were killed by the virus before government ordered Irvine's to seal off the farm.

Irvine's is controlled by the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed conglomerate, Innscor Africa Limited, which last week indicated in its financial results for the year ended June 30, 2017 that normalcy had returned to the operation.

Chairman, Addington Chinake, said this was after the firm had charged $7,284 million to its income statement in costs related to the outbreak.

However, in spite of the flu crisis, Irvine's reported a five percent growth in revenue during the review period, underpinned by an 11 percent rise in table egg sales and improved yield prices, according to the report.

"In May 2017, a case of avian influenza was detected on one of the operation's farms, resulting in a preventative and precautionary cull out of all the birds in this particular site," Chinake said in a commentary accompanying the financial results.

"During the later part of July, not withstanding normal mortality levels, routine sampling revealed further positive cases of avian influenza and the Department of Veterinary Services deemed it prudent, and recommended a de-population exercise of this entire farm. This exercise resulted in exceptional charges of $7,284 million being processed to the income statement in the year under review. The farm is now undergoing sanitation procedures in readiness for restocking. Full production from the operation's own sources is expected to be reached by the beginning of the second half of the ensuing financial year. In the interim, production levels are being sustained by the importation of hatching eggs," he said.

Innscor reported an 11 percent increase in net income to $33,69 million during the review period, from $30,48 million during the prior comparative period, on cost savings.

The manufacturing group's revenue dropped to $580,3 million during the review period, from $586,91 million during the comparable period the previous year, largely due to a decline in its listed associate, National Foods' sales volumes, which retreated by 10 percent to 507 000 tonnes.

The slide was caused by underperformance in the maize division.

Innscor said the division's volumes dropped by nearly half to 85,449 tonnes during the review period, from 154,292 tonnes during the same period the previous year.

It said volumes at pork products producer, Colcom, grew 13 percent over the prior year on the back of a 14 percent increase in pork production.

Pie sales increased by 34 percent.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased by 18 percent to $65,52 million from $55,32 million in the previous year on operational efficiency.

Operating expenses declined by seven percent to $146,15 million from $157 million in the prior year.

The group's capital expenditure for the period amounted to $16,56 million.

A dividend of 0,9 cents per share was declared.
- fingaz
Tags: Irvine,


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