Finance Trust to exit Cairns

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Diversified beverages and food manufacturer, Cairns Holdings Limited, said conclusion of the disinvestment of Finance Trust of Zimbabwe will assist in the implementation of the capital-raising program.

Finance Trust is a company wholly owned by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and is the major shareholder in Cairns with a 63,6% stake while Cyrus Holding corp has a 9,42% stake and Cairns holdings workers trust holds 4,28% stake.

The central bank last year began a process to dispose of its non-core assets as it streamlines its operations to its core functions.

In notes accompanying the company’s financial statement chairman, Charles Utete said “Operations have been streamlined at Cairns Food as part of enhancing capacity in the new financial year.”

Cairns posted a turnover of $19 million for the year ended August 31 2011 compared to $25 million for the same period in 2010.

He said during the period under review volumes dropped by 30%.

“The group is faced with liquidity shortages that have hampered operational activity,” Utete said.
Cairns recorded an operating loss of $3,7 million for the period under review compared to $4,6 million in August 2010.

“The cost containment programme implemented during the year as part of the turnaround strategy reduced the operating loss by 20% to $4 million. At $3 million, finance costs were marginally lower than those of last year,” he said.

Utete said due to the loss incurred in the period under review, the company would not be able to pay a dividend in the year under consideration.

The group said short term interest rates remained high during the year and fixed assets were impaired to take cognisance of reduced production capacities.

Total assets stood at $19 million while total liabilities were $17 million.

The stock listed firm last traded its shares on the stock market on December 23, 2011 at 1 cent.
But since then the firm’s share was on offer at 1,5 cents but as of Friday last week no takers were willing to take the share at that price.

The company has a total of 162,5 million shares in issue.