South African firm halts $6.4m investment in Nigeria

South African firm halts $6.4m investment in Nigeria

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 7:58 am


A Clover juice factory in South Africa

A Clover juice factory in South Africa

South Africa’s Clover Industries will no longer invest in Nigeria due to the country’s foreign exchange restrictions, the dairy products company said on Wednesday.

“The current financial crisis experienced in Nigeria which is fuelled by the low oil price is a further cause of concern, thus the group has decided to withdraw from future investments in Nigeria,” Clover said in a statement.

“It’s a sad decision but until the currency crisis is resolved we wont be able to invest in there any further,” Chief Executive Johann Vorster told Reuters.

Clover had planned to invest no less that 100 million rand ($6.43 million) in developing its products in Nigeria, he said.

The company said it would continue to expand in Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland.

He added that the company would like to keep the Clover brand alive through its Tropika juices.

South African fashion retailer Truworths said last month  it pulled out if its Nigerian business saying it was unable to import clothes and was struggling to pay rent and access foreign exchange.

Clover on Wednesday posted a 7 percent rise in first-half profits due to a higher demand for its milk products and as a heatwave in southern Africa caused consumers to reach for its juices and bottled water.

Headline earnings per share, a main gauge of profit in South Afica that strips out certain one-off items, for the six months to December totalled 117 cents from 109.2 cents in the previous year.

Vorster said Clover was on the prowl for acquisitions which it would fund through its balance sheet, adding that the firm could go to investors for cash “if needs be”.

 

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