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Unifreight Bounces To Profitability As Increased Costs Hit Margins

Logistics firm, Unifreight Africa limited returned to profitability during the year ended December 2021, although the rapid depreciation of the local currency against the USD coupled with rising inflation in USD terms put pressure on profit margins.

The local currency continued on a downward path leading to inflation which in this case was in both local and USD terms owing to external factors brought by the pandemic such as increased freight costs at various ports.

In its delayed FY 21 financial results, the group revenue in inflation adjusted terms was 32 percent ahead of previous year at ZW$3.212Billion, which was also 2 percent above budget due to improved tonnage.

“Despite this healthy growth in sales, margins have been pressed by the rising in cost. This rise in cost is mainly because of exchange rate volatility and US Dollar inflation experienced during the year,” said group chairman, Peter Annesley.

Tonnage was 0.7 percent above budget and 22 percent up from the prior year. This increase in tonnage was a result of new business acquisition and Total Transport & Logistics Solutions average growth of 50 percent in volume as existing customers recovered from the impact of Covid 19 restrictions.

As a result, the group posted an inflation-adjusted profit for the year was ZW$581million as compared to a ZW$123 Million Inflation Adjusted loss the prior year.

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“The operating environment remains challenging but we are confident that the authorities will implement measures to stabilize the exchange rate and inflation,” said Annesley.

The board declared a dividend of 59 cents per share for the period.

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