Land Bank net profit up by R90m

2014-08-18 14:55

The Land Bank recorded a net profit of R394.3 million in the 2013-2014 financial year, a 29.4% increase from the previous financial year, it said in its annual report.

This equated to an increase of about R89.7 million, from its net profit of R304.6 million in the 2012-2013 financial year, acting Land Bank chief executive Lindiwe Mdlalose said in Johannesburg today.

The bank’s loan book grew from R26.5 billion in 2012-2013 to R33 billion in the period under review.

Investment income increased marginally, from R53.6 million in 2012-2013 to R56.3 million in 2013-2014.

Nontrading and capital items improved from a net loss of R10 million in 2012-2013 to a profit of R9.5 million in the year under review.

Mdlalose said the agricultural sector’s performance showed a positive improvement for the period up to December 2013, compared with the previous year.

The gross value of agricultural production for 2013 was estimated at R188 million. This was an increase of 8.5% over the previous year’s R173 million.

Total farming debt increased by 15.5%.

Mdlalose said South Africa continued to be a net exporter of agricultural products.

“The value of trade was R72.5 million for exports, against R57 million for imports.”

She said while the agricultural sector performed positively in general, some parts of the country had experienced adverse weather, such as drought.

“The effects of drought experienced by the sector during the previous season have been evident in tight grain stock supply, with the need to increase maize import,” she said.

“As supply improved during the course of the season, maize prices have subsequently subsided from levels seen earlier in the season on the back of favourable crop forecasts for the 2014 season.”

Mdlalose said the Land Bank’s future relied on the success of farmers and agribusinesses.

“The Land Bank has an important role to play in improving the number of sustainable emerging farmers entering the commercial space, while continuing to support commercial farmers to ensure they remain competitive,” she said.

“Our healthy financial outlook ... enables us to attract other potential investors and multilateral funders at relatively competitive rates. Such presents the bank with an opportunity to competitively increase its investment in the sector.”

Meanwhile, board chairman Ben Ngubane said a new Land Bank CEO will probably be appointed in September.

“When assessments are completed, we will send recommendations to National Treasury and they will give the final stamp of approval,” Ngubane said.

“It should be in early September.”

In December, Phakamani Hadebe stepped down as the bank's chief executive officer.

Chief risk officer Mdlalose was currently acting in the post.

Hadebe was transferred from the National Treasury to the Land Bank in 2008 and subsequently appointed CEO of the bank.

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