African Potash Ltd. (AFPO) African Potash Ltd.: Audited Annual Results year ended 30 June 2017 20-Oct-2017 / 18:18 GMT/BST Dissemination of a Regulatory Announcement that contains inside information according to REGULATION (EU) No 596/2014 (MAR), transmitted by EQS Group. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.
African Potash Limited / Epic: AFPO / Sector: Mining
20 October 2017
African Potash Limited
("African Potash" or "the Company")
Audited Annual Results for the year ended 30 June 2017
African Potash Limited, the NEX listed exploration company focussed on the vertical integration of fertiliser operations in Africa and sub-Saharan potash assets, is pleased to report its audited annual results for the twelve months ended 30 June 2017.
Two years ago, African Potash was a junior exploration company with an early stage project which had just completed a proof of concept drilling program confirming extensive lateral seams of Potash Salts, extending to the edge of the Congolese coastal basin. Notwithstanding the positive results, the funding environment for early stage resource projects has remained difficult. Recognising this, the Company has implemented a strategy to develop opportunities for generating revenue in the fast developing and related fertiliser industry, with a long-term view of ultimately providing access to the market for its resource products.
The initial emphasis was on government-focussed trades introduced by COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa). Several Memoranda of Understanding were entered into, and the Company invested significant time and resources in pursuing these opportunities. Severe regional drought adversely affected demand, elections postponed decisions and, most importantly, budget restrictions meant that our customers could not, despite assurances to the contrary, secure the necessary payment required either by way of letters of credit or any other satisfactory payment instruments to enable us to conclude the potential trades.
Clearly there is a sizeable business opportunity within this area and that we will be well placed to take advantage of it as time progresses as a result of our established relationship with COMESA. That said, throughout this period, we have learnt that dealing with governments can be slow and unpredictable. As a result our strategy has developed such that we are now looking towards both wholesale and retail trading, with a view to focussing our operations closer to the end user of fertiliser products.
Last year, we commenced trading operations in Zambia with Nutri-Aid Trust ('Nutri-Aid'), which has over 2,500 agro-outlets certified by COMESA. This pilot scheme commenced with a partially secured credit-based model whereby the agri-dealers within the Nutri-Aid network would pay 50% upon collection and the balance within 45 days. The pilot revealed not only the inherent risks in a partially secured credit based model but also showed us that many customers were happy to pay cash on collection.
Following the pilot we have entered into an exclusive agreement with Nutri-Aid to lease their network of small community warehouses which had been established in conjunction with US AID, and to use these to build a warehouse and retail business. The first three warehouses have been refurbished and are ready to start trading in the season getting underway.
A key driver of demand is the Zambian government's eVoucher program which is replacing their former government subsidy program, whereby registered individual farmers receive a prepaid card which can be used to purchase fertiliser and certain other inputs from registered suppliers. We are a registered eVoucher supplier.
In July 2017 the Government announced that the budget for the current season is $175m. In addition to the warehouses we have also recently launched the One Farm program, running social media groups where we engage with individual and groups of farmers to identify their input requirements. We also use these groups to disseminate data and information, weather, agronomical information, timing of planting, market data for sale of outputs amongst others. This enables us to establish close relationships with small scale farming groups and add value over and above the supply of fertiliser.
We have also taken the decision to "buy into" an existing business. As announced on 31 March 2017, we have agreed to take a 21% stake in Advanced Agricultural Holdings (Pty) Limited ("Advanced Agri"), an excellent example of a successful fertiliser and speciality input distributor in South Africa. Advanced Agri will provide us with additional agronomic expertise and speciality products which will enable us to distinguish our product offering to larger commercial farming groups and agri-dealers in the region and give us an advantage when concluding deals with governments and multi-laterals.
African Potash retains its interest in the exploration side of the fertiliser industry through its 70% interest in La Société des Potasses et des Mines S.A. ('SPM'), which holds the exclusive right to conduct exploration activities for potash salts over the Lac Dinga Project Area ('Lac Dinga' or the 'Project') in the highly prospective Kouilou region in the Republic of Congo which has been renewed until 25 April 2016, following which, the license is renewable for a further two years.
During the period the board undertook an impairment review. In the continued absence of any recovery in potash prices and to reflect that no further progress had been made in securing additional funding or a suitable earn-in partner, the board decided to impair the valuation of the project to $3m. Based on a re-assessment of the available information as at 30 June 2016 the board have therefore decided that this impairment should be treated as a prior year adjustment, and the comparative financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2016 have been restated accordingly.
In order to develop the asset and issue a maiden resource statement, the Group announced on 19 July 2017 that it has entered an agreement with African Agronomix Limited ("AAX"), whereby AAX has the right to acquire up to 100% of the Company's interest in Lac Dinga project structured over four distinct phases (the "Earn-In"). During each phase AAX will have funding and performance obligations, completion of which result in AAX acquiring a greater interest in the Project. Upon completion of a maiden resource statement, AAX will hold 65% of our interest in the project. At this point, the Company may elect to participate in co-funding the feasibility studies alongside AAX.
Net income from trading for the year ending 30 June 2017 was $9,000 (2016: $15,000). Operating expenses were reduced to $1.3m (2016: $ 5.1m). After the impairment charge in respect of exploration assets of $0.7m (2016 as restated: $7.8m) and the reversal of deferred consideration in the prior year of $3.6m, the loss before taxation for the period was $2.3m (2016 as restated: $9.5m). Cash balances at 30 June 2017 were $11,000 (2016: $298,000).
Since the year end the Company has raised, by way of placings, $143,000 before expenses, to fund the further development of its fertiliser trading operations.
On 21 April 2017, the Company announced that it had signed a Letter of Intent in connection with the proposed acquisition by the Company of Onshore Energy Limited and requested that the Company's shares be suspended. The Company is no longer pursuing this transaction.
Over the past few months, during our suspension from NEX, there have been some key developments that combine to strengthen the African Potash proposition giving us a clearer path to long-term profitability. Our goals and business strategy align with the Feed Africa initiative - the African Development Bank Group's agricultural transformation strategy for a competitive and inclusive agribusiness sector that creates wealth, improves lives and secures the environment. Led by the private sector and enabled by the public sector, using innovative financing mechanisms, the strategy aims to end hunger and rural poverty in Africa in the next decade.
As part of our strategy to be an African fertiliser trader, we have completed a transaction to acquire a strategic 21% equity stake in Advanced Agri. We plan to work with Advanced Agri to develop their business regionally outside their South African market. We have seen an increasing trend in the market over the past year where commercial farmers are opting to purchase a higher quality specialty fertiliser over and above the more common generic NPK and Urea products. Advanced Agri is one of South Africa's leading 'specialty fertiliser' distributors, and this investment positions us well for attracting business and improving margins from the distribution of Advanced Agri's specialty products across Africa.
The earn in agreement with African Agronomix Limited to develop our Lac Dinga potash resource is a hugely positive move for all concerned. We have been looking for the right partner to push this forward for a considerable time. The transaction endorses our belief in the long-term viability of the Lac Dinga project and, as the earn-in work progresses, will realise value in the project for existing shareholders. Importantly, shareholders have a free carry to a maiden resource statement.
Since restructuring our business model in Zambia we have built a very competent team on the ground. We are now well engaged with three community groups in relation to establishing "Agri-Hubs" from their respective warehouses. Initially we will focus on the supply of fertiliser and over time expect this will naturally expand into other agriculture related products. Once these warehouses have bedded down the most efficient business model, we intend is to gradually roll the same model out across the full Nutri-Aid network of 32 community warehouses each of which is situated in the centre of an agricultural region, to give us a significant national distribution platform. In addition we will continue to develop our One Farm program, which is already generating some significant leads.
The Board believe that we now have firm foundations from which to build a growing revenue generating business and look forward to continued progress in the current year.
CONSOLIDATED INCOME STATEMENT
For the year ended 30 June 2017
All results relate to continuing activities.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF OTHER COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
For the year ended 30 June 2017
There is no taxation arising on other comprehensive income
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION
The notes on pages 21 to 45 form part of the financial statements.
CONSOLIDATED CASH FLOW STATEMENT
For the year ended 30 June 2017
Non cash transactions
The principal non cash transactions relate to:
The Directors of the Company accept responsibility for the content of this announcement.
For further information visit www.africanpotash.com or contact the following:
Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014
The information contained within this announcement is deemed by the Company to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014 ("MAR"). Upon the publication of this announcement via Regulatory Information Service ("RIS"), this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.
|End of Announcement||EQS News Service|