TORONTO, ONTARIO – April 30, 2018: Feronia Inc. (“Feronia” or the “Company”) (TSX-V: FRN) today released its audited financial results for the year ended December 31, 2017. All amounts in this release are expressed in US dollars unless otherwise indicated.
Produced 143,572 tonnes of fruit (2016: 109,061 tonnes), a year-over-year increase of 32%
Produced 27,189 tonnes of Crude Palm Oil (“CPO”) (2016: 20,724 tonnes), a year-over-year increase of 31%
Revenue of $21.1 million (2016: $17.2 million), a year-over-year increase of 23%, primarily from the sale of 24,609 tonnes of CPO at an average price of $775 per tonne (2016: 23,293 tonnes at $670 per tonne)
Completed installation of new fiber boilers and turbines at Yaligimba and Lokutu
Completed drawdown of remaining $34 million of DFI Debt Facility
Xavier de Carnière, Chief Executive Officer of Feronia Inc. commented:
“We take great pride in what we have accomplished in 2017. We have achieved a 31% production increase in one year (62% in two years), whilst continuing to develop our social and environmental efforts, entering into agreements with our communities, reducing our cost of production, bringing a new significant shareholder on board, finalizing the disbursement of our loan facility, reinforcing our team, increasing our workforce’ salaries to reflect the consumer price index in the DRC, commissioning possibly Africa’s most modern boiler & turbine in Yaligimba, kick-starting the rehabilitation of our Lokumete mill and commencing our Boteka boiler & turbine projects.
“Whilst a moment of proud reflection is warranted, there is still much to be done before we can confidently consider that we have reached cruising altitude. For instance, the variable portion of our cost of production, including transport costs and labour efficiency, require improvement. Absenteeism at the plantations remains a serious concern. Our housing renovation programme is not progressing as fast as we hoped, partly because of difficulties in bringing the right skills to the sites. Agricultural upkeep standards are not at the required level yet, although they are rapidly improving, and downtime at our Lokutu and Boteka mills are still above acceptable levels; a direct consequence of insufficient preventative maintenance.
“We have demonstrated our ability to face difficult challenges as a team, and overcome them one by one. We are now confidently capitalizing on that ability and the trend is clearly pointing in the right direction and we are delivering on our business plan.
“Together we have the skills, the determination and the passion. The challenges before us may still be plenty, but we are confident that we will succeed.”
For further information please contact:
Xavier de Carniere Chief Executive Officer, Feronia Inc. 44 (0)7468 697 658 firstname.lastname@example.org www.feronia.com
Paul Dulieu Director of Communications and Corporate Development, Feronia Inc. 44 (0)7554 521421 email@example.com www.feronia.com
About Feronia Inc.
Feronia is an agribusiness operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
At the heart of Feronia lies a long established palm oil business, Plantations et Huileries du Congo (PHC), which has three remotely located plantations; Lokutu, Yaligimba and Boteka.
When Feronia acquired its palm oil business from Unilever in 2009, it had suffered from years of underinvestment and considerable disruption caused by conflict in the DRC. Our initial focus has been on rebuilding the business and resuming production to secure its future and the livelihoods of the thousands of people we directly employ.
Feronia’s plantations produce crude palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel oil (PKO). CPO is part of the staple and traditional diet of the Congolese and, with our products sold locally in the DRC, we are well placed to help decrease reliance on imports and increase food security and quality.
Feronia prides itself on being the guardian of our 107 year-old palm oil business and its employees, communities, and environment. We have a long term commitment to improve the living and working environment of our employees and their communities and are committed to sustainable agriculture, environmental protection and community inclusion. Feronia has in place an Environmental and Social Action Plan which is focused on implementing environmental and social best practice and improving social infrastructure.
Feronia is working towards certification by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and is implementing IFC/World Bank standards for environmental and social sustainability. Our oil palm replanting programme is brownfield in nature – replacing old palms with new – and it has no reliance on deforestation.
Feronia’s management team has extensive experience in managing both plantations and farming operations in emerging markets.
For more information please see feronia.com
Except for statements of historical fact contained herein, the information in this press release constitutes “forward-looking information” within the meaning of Canadian securities law. Such forward-looking information may be identified by words such as “anticipates”, “plans”, “proposes”, “estimates”, “intends”, “expects”, “believes”, “may” and “will”. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate; actual results and future events could differ materially from such statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, among others: risks related to foreign operations (including various political, economic and other risks and uncertainties), the interpretation and implementation of the “Loi Portant Principes Fondamentaux Relatifs A L’Agriculture”, termination or non-renewal of concession rights or expropriation of property rights, political instability and bureaucracy, limited operating history, lack of profitability, lack of infrastructure in the DRC, high inflation rates, limited availability of debt financing in the DRC, fluctuations in currency exchange rates, competition from other businesses, reliance on various factors (including local labour, importation of machinery and other key items and business relationships), the Company’s reliance on one major customer, lower productivity at the Company’s plantations and arable farming operations, risks related to the agricultural industry (including adverse weather conditions, shifting weather patterns, and crop failure due to infestations), a shift in commodity trends and demands, vulnerability to fluctuations in the world market, the lack of availability of qualified management personnel and stock market volatility. Details of the risk factors relating to Feronia and its business are discussed under the heading “Risks and Uncertainties” in Feronia’s Management’s discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2017, a copy of which is available on the Company’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com. Most of these factors are outside the control of the Company. Investors are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking information. Except as otherwise required by applicable securities statutes or regulation, the Company expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its regulation services provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.