National Foods weans off depot network
LISTED agro-processing firm National Foods (NatFoods) says it has streamlined its operations by handing over the running of its depot network to Gain Cash and Carry.
NatFoods CEO Mr Michael Lashbrook told shareholders at the company’s AGM yesterday morning that the company wanted to focus on growing its core business.
“The group has changed the operating model for its depot network. With effect from November 1, Gain Cash and Carry has taken over the NatFoods Depot network.
“The reason for this change was that NatFoods wishes to concentrate on growing its portfolio of FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) products. At times the fact that we have operated depots has caused conflict with our customers,” he said.
The group’s brands include Gloria, Red Seal, Mahatma, Pearlenta, Snow White, Rosetta, Better Buy as well as Stockfeeds. Gain Cash and Carry is expected to transform the depots into to fully fledged wholesales
“Gain Cash and Carry will be driven by Mr Liberty Murimwa and Mr Johnson Gapu. Previously Mr Murimwa was NatFoods’ group financial director while Johnson was NatFoods’ sales and distribution director,” said Mr Lashbrook.
In terms of the shareholding structure of the new entity, Messrs Murimwa and Gapo will be partnered by a private equity financier who will finance what the CEO called “essentially a management take-over.”
The group has since appointed Mr Workmore Chimweta as group sales and marketing director to replace Mr Gapu, while Mr Murimwa’s replacement will be announced in due course, said the company.
Meanwhile, for the first quarter ended September 30, 2016, NatFoods’ volumes rose 11 percent on the back of a jump in demand for key products.
“Volumes were firm, growing 10,5 percent on prior year. The volume growth was driven mainly by flour, and to a lesser extent, rice”, said the CEO in a trading update.
Earlier this year, Natfoods acquired a 40 percent stake in Pure Oil Industries, manufacturers of the Zimgold cooking oil.
“The group’s recent acquisitions have added a new and exciting dimension in the group. Pure oils performed strongly and Zimgold has become the country’s top selling brand in a very short period of time,” said Mr Lashbrook. — BH24