BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

CFI Holdings Limited (CHL) has delayed the publication of its abridged annual results due to COVID-19-related delays to its audit process.

In a statement yesterday, CHL company secretary Panganayi Hare said the group was initially supposed to publish its abridged annual results for the year ended September 30, 2020 by December 31, 2020.

“COVID-related issues resulted in a delayed start to the audit and its completion, necessitating a month’s extension to the finalisation processes. The financial results will now be published on or before the 31st of January 2021.  The approval of the extension was granted by the ZSE,” Hare said.

During the intended financial period yet to be reported, the country was still undergoing strict lockdown measures imposed in March 2020, which saw business operations disrupted and reduced along with consumer traffic.

Government later eased the restrictions in the latter half of 2020.

But, a second COVID-19 spike in recent weeks has seen the government bringing back stricter restrictions this week with stakeholders accusing it of not consulting them.

In its half year report ended March 31, 2020, CHL projected that the third quarter would be severely impacted by the restrictions on human and economic activity arising from COVID-19 restrictions.

At the time, CHL said: “We hope this will ease in the event that lockdown restrictions are either softened or lifted altogether in the last quarter of the financial year.”

As such, CHL’s full year performance is expected to be affected by COVID-19 restrictions while the group also warned of negative effects of hyperinflation, an unstable exchange rate, limited availability of foreign currency in the formal banking channels and drought.

In CHL’s full year performance ended September 30, 2019, before COVID-19, the group’s inflation-adjusted turnover for the year increased by 25,2% to $347,8 million from $277,9 million in the previous period.

From this amount, retail operations contributed 98% compared to 95% in 2018 while farming operations contributed 2% compared to 2018’s –5% to the total turnover.

“The group operating profit improved by 141,3%, from $20,2 million in the prior period to $43,2 million. The improvement was a result of the increased merchandise volumes in retail and enhanced cost-containment efforts. The Group incurred financing mark-to-market costs of $38.9 million arising from the loan raised to finance the exit of entities from judicial management,” CHL said at the time.

“The group recorded a profit before tax of $44,4 million against a profit before tax of $18,4million in the prior year. Entities under judicial management posted a profit before tax of $144 million against losses of $4,1 million incurred in the prior year.”

In terms of liquidity, at the end of the 2019 year, CHL had a current ratio of
2,57 showing the group was liquid to cover any liabilities in the 2020 financial year.

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