TORONTO, ONTARIO – May 30, 2018: Feronia Inc. (“Feronia” or the “Company”) (TSX-V: FRN) today released its unaudited financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2018. All amounts in this release are expressed in US dollars unless otherwise indicated.
Q1 2018 Highlights
Produced 32,405 tonnes of fruit (Q1 2017: 26,301 tonnes), a year-over-year increase of 23%
Produced 6,549 tonnes of Crude Palm Oil (“CPO”) (Q1 2017: 4,869 tonnes), a year-over-year increase of 35%
Oil extraction rate of 20.2% (Q1 2017: 18.5%)
Revenue of $5.4 million (Q1 2017: $2.3 million), a year-over-year increase of 135%, primarily from the sale of 6,571 tonnes of CPO at an average price of $776 per tonne (Q1 2017: 2,422 tonnes at $789 per tonne)
Completed second tranche of private placement of $8.5 million
Xavier de Carnière, Chief Executive Officer of Feronia Inc. commented:“Whilst production levels continue to improve and, at first glance, it would be easy to consider that much of the hard work required to turn this business around has been completed, the reality is that there is still much to be done and considerable challenges to overcome.
“Our Lokutu mill is currently not as reliable as we would want, creating a bottleneck that we must overcome rapidly if we want to cope with the increasing fruit production. At Boteka, the commissioning of our fibre boiler has suffered some delay and, with it expected to come on-line in late June 2018, considerable work will be required to make up for missing part of the peak production period. Fortunately, our new boiler and turbine at Yaligimba are performing like a Swiss watch and are fully meeting our expectations.
“Aside from the technical challenges that we continue to overcome one by one, we have now started implementing the clauses of our social contracts recently entered into with our communities. We also have adjusted the salaries of our workforce, in line with the inflation index system that we put in place last year, to maintain the purchasing parity of our workers’ income.
“We are no strangers to the challenges often faced when operating in the DRC but are, as we have always been, fully committed to ensuring that our employees and local communities benefit from our presence. In that regard, we have recently dedicated extra efforts and resources to help local authorities, our workers and our communities should the recent Ebola outbreak in the DRC affect Boteka. We hope that our commitment is not tested in this instance but, should it be, we are ready.”
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 two major customers, 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.