BY TAFADZWA MHLANGA
DESPITE the deteriorating operating environment in the country, Unifreight’s revenue was up 229% to $46,2 million owing to good customer services and fleet availability in the third quarter period ended September 30, 2019.
In a trading update, Unifreight recorded a profit of $12,8 million compared to the previous year’s profit of $1,2 million.
During the period under review, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 449% to $16,4 million.
“Revenue generation continues to be positive from all the group’s brands. The results for Q3 2019 (third quarter) are still good, despite a deteriorating business climate in the country. Revenue is up $46,2m (229%) on prior year, and $37,6m (130%) ahead of budget. EBITDA is up $16,4m (449%) on prior year, $14,6m (263%) ahead of budget,” said the company secretary Moreblessing Mukamba.
“We are pleased to report a profit of $12,8m for Q3 2019, which is $10,1m ahead of budget and $11,6m ahead of the previous year. The positive out-turn is attributed to good customer care and service, consistency in fleet availability and alignment in business operations.”
Mukamba said the group continues to feel the pinch of the economic upheavals being experienced in the country resulting in the increase of operational expenses due to foreign currency shortages and hyperinflation.
He added that fuel and repairs and maintenance (R&M) costs remained within budget, however, the company faced fuel shortages with the R&M costs spiking due to the fluctuation of the foreign currency exchange rate which had a direct impact on procurement of spares.
The group’s major focus will be on growing revenues, ensuring right pricing and maintaining costs within threshold.
Unifreight seeks to focus on growing volumes on the low margin less than truckload in the Swift business, which is yielding positive results and the specialised dedicated service through their Bulwark brand.
Skynet Worldwide Express Zimbabwe which operates under Swift Transport is also expanding its footprint on the international courier service.
Unifreight Africa Limited (formerly Pioneer Corporation Africa Limited) was incorporated in Zimbabwe in 1970. It is a holding company of a group of companies primarily involved in the road transport industry whose activities include inter-city freight consolidations, the distribution of general goods, and an international courier service.