Growth in agribusiness underpins strong revenue rise at Lonrho

Africa-focused investment company Lonrho has unveiled strong revenue growth for 2012 and a 32 per cent rise in revenues for the final quarter, underpinned by solid growth in its agribusiness division.

Africa-focused investment company Lonrho has unveiled strong revenue growth for 2012 and a 32 per cent rise in revenues for the final quarter, underpinned by solid growth in its agribusiness division.

Revenue from core operating divisions in the fourth quarter was £46.0m, compared with £34.8m for the three months to December 31st 2011.

Agribusiness accounted for more than 65% of Lonrho's revenue from core operating divisions. At the end of 2012, the group said it had completed the development of a vertically integrated, cold chain logistics and processing infrastructure.

The group said that its 2013 crop is expected to be three times the size of the 2012 crop as the plantation matures. The plantation is expected to reach full maturity in 2014 and is forecast to yield 4.0m kilograms of fruit per year thereafter.

Within the infratructure division, which grew 24.5% to £123.6m over the year, the group said that the oil services logistics port, Luba Freeport, continued to "perform well" adding that it had seen "a healthy increase" in vessel movements in the fourth quarter of the year compared to the prior year.

On an adjusted like-for-like basis at constant currency, revenue increased across all divisions, with an overall increase of 28%.

For the full year to December 31st 2012, reported revenue was up 21.8% compared to the 15 months to December 31st 2011, from £152.9m to £186.3m, a like-for-like increase at constant currency of 23.6%.

The group's total reported gross margin increased from 26.9% to 28.9%, comparing the 12 month period with the prior 15 months.

Geoffrey White, Chief Executive Officer of Lonhro, commented: "2012 was a very significant year for Lonrho and saw the conclusion, by the end of the year, of the transition of Lonrho into a company that has successfully completed the establishment of its core business units and is now in a strong position to build on the opportunities in Africa.

"This transition took longer to complete than expected, and there were some delays in our 2012 plans that caused potential 2012 business to move to 2013. The majority of these delays have now played out and the group is well positioned in 2013 to deliver positive results for shareholders Lonrho remains solely focused on Africa and being aligned with economic development across the Continent."

Lonhro's share price was up 24% to 6.20p at 09:41 on Thursday.

MF

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