TORONTO, ONTARIO – May 29, 2015: Feronia Inc. (“Feronia” or the “Company”) (TSX-V: FRN) today released its financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2015. All amounts in this release are expressed in US dollars unless otherwise indicated.
A copy of the unaudited condensed consolidated interim financial statements for the three months ended 31 March 2015 will be available under the Company’s profile on www.sedar.com.
Q1 2015 Highlights
Produced 18,613 tonnes of fruit (Q1 2014: 15,405 tonnes), a year-over-year increase of 21%
Produced 3,599 tonnes of Crude Palm Oil (“CPO”) (Q1 2014: 2,851 tonnes), a year-over-year increase of 26%
Increase in revenue of 54% to $2.5 million (Q1 2014: $1.6 million) including from the sale of:
2,917 tonnes of CPO at an average price of $777 per tonne (Q1 2014: 1,813 tonnes at $798 per tonne)
PKO sales of $152,000 (Q1 2014: $112,000)
Gain on biological assets of $12,653,000 (Q1 2014: loss of $2,238,000.
Net income of $4,369,348 or $0.08 per share (Q1 2014: net loss of $4,759,541 or ($0.09) per share)
Fresh fruit bunch (“FFB”) yield of 1.71 tonnes per mature hectare (“ha”) (Q1 2014: 1.60 tonnes per mature ha)
Oil extraction rate (“OER”) of 19.3% (Q1 2014: 18.5%)
Entered into subscription agreements for private placement of up to $16.325 million of secured convertible debentures led by CDC Group plc, the UK Government's Development Finance Institution and including Ravi Sood, Executive Chairman of Feronia. On January 22, 2015, a first tranche of $7.15 million closed and subsequent tranches of the offering will close at the option of the majority holders of the Debentures and upon the meeting of certain conditions.
Xavier de Carnière, Chief Executive Officer of Feronia Inc. commented:
"Looking at what Feronia has achieved over the past few years, I am fortunate to be surrounded by a team of seasoned professionals who know how to maximize available resources in the best interest of the Company, whilst achieving incredible results.
The management and employees of the Company have shown such dedication to this business and the level of teamwork has been outstanding. All of their hard work is now beginning to yield results as, one by one, the indicators on our dashboard turn green and the Company begins to perform as we have always known it will. Take-off is quickly approaching and our next challenge will be to prepare for a fast ascent.
As our replanted hectares begin to mature and the proportion of immature trees, which only create cash outflows, decreases, our confidence in being able to achieve our long term objectives increases. Combining the wealth of experience within Feronia with increasing resources generated by our growing revenues will, I believe, put us on a unique path to success."
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. We also have an arable farming operation which grows and processes rice.
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 8,000+ people we directly and indirectly 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 104 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 is comprised of senior agriculturalists with extensive experience in managing both plantations and farming operations in emerging markets.
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, 2014, 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.