CIEL Limited, one of the leading diversified investment companies in Mauritius, saw post-tax profit climb by 16.2% to reach Rs 145.27 million for the first quarter ended September 30 2014 , compared to Rs 125.04 million in the year-ago period.
The group sold its 20% stake in Constance Hotel Services Ltd, resulting in a net profit on disposal of Rs 177 million at company level.
Besides, revenue was up from Rs 50,000 a year-ago to Rs 4.23 billion in the quarter ended 30 September 2014.
It may be noted that CIEL Ltd was formerly known as Deep River Investment Limited, before CIEL Investment Limited (CIL) was amalgamated into it since the start of this year. Accordingly, the results henceforth incorporate those of both DRI as from 1 July 2013 and erstwhile CIL as from 25 January 2014, together with their respective subsidiaries and associates.
On a segmental basis, the finance segment performed very well with profits attaining Rs 207 million in the quarter under review against Rs 12 million received in the corresponding quarter of last year, representing an over seventeen-fold increase.
The Board commented that Madagascar-based banking major BNI Madagascar SA, in which CIEL holds stake since June this year, posted a good performance during the quarter with 11% year-on-year increase in profit before tax.
In addition, Bank one and MITCO, which provides fiduciary services, posted encouraging results for the quarter under review.
The textile segment as well, housed under CIEL Textiles, achieved a tremendous growth of 283.6% to Rs 234 million during the first quarter 2014 compared to the Rs 61 million obtained for the year-ago period, on account of improved performance in the woven cluster.
However, a drop in the knitwear cluster’s results is expected in the second semester due to anticipated lower sales volume.
As for the healthcare segment, its profit increased by 200% to Rs 3 million compared to the first quarter ended 30 September 2013 when it stood at Rs 1 million.
Commenting on the segment, the Board noted that the Medical & Surgical Centre Limited (private hospital) improved its performance compared to the same quarter last year and CIEL increased its stake in the Medical & Surgical Centre Limited vide CIEL Healthcare Limited triggering a mandatory offer under the Securities Rules 2010.
Moreover, CIEL Healthcare Limited continues to review its deal pipeline for investment in the Sub-Saharan region.
Besides, Laboratoire International de Bio Analyse Ltée (LIBA), a newly incorporated associate (35% owned by CIEL), started operations in its own laboratories in mid-September 2014.
Conversely, profits of the Agro & Property segment declined by 65.2%, from Rs 112 million in the first quarter 2013 to Rs 30 million in the corresponding quarter of 2014. It may be noted that investments in the Agro & Property portfolio comprise 36% of the total investments of the group, followed by 24% in hotels and resorts and textiles coming a distant third at 18%.
The Agro & Property segment suffered from a decrease in sugar prices and lower production volume locally due to timing difference in cane supply, which affected the financial performance of Alteo Limited.
Additionally, Tanzanian operations posted a 20% year-on-year increase in turnover compared to the corresponding quarter as a result of higher sales volume despite lower prices and before the end of December 2014, the ongoing review of regional projects with Kenya’s investment expected to be completed.
Finally, the Hotels & Resorts cluster did not see any improvement in the loss incurred during the first quarter of last year of Rs 38 million that has only increased further to hit Rs 206 million this year.
The occupancy rate at Sun Resorts Limited (SRL) improved from 54.8% in the year-ago period to 67.4%, with its commercial position benefitting from the new pricing strategy.
SRL’s Revenue Per Available Room and Group Revenue both showed year-on-year growth, up 18.2% and 23% respectively.
Finally, the acquisition by SRL of 50% stake in Anahita Hotel Ltd, which owns the Four Seasons Resort Mauritius for Rs 926.4 million, will be submitted to its shareholdersfor approval at a Special Meeting to be held on December 1, 2014.
CIEL Limited is a leading diversified investment company in Mauritius, operating five business clusters spread across Mauritius, Africa and Asia with 26,500 employees. Since its beginnings in agriculture in 1912, the pioneering group is continuously exploring new avenues of development and international expansion.
In January 2014, CIEL was listed on the Official Market of the Stock Exchange of Mauritius (ticker symbol: “CIEL.N0000”), following the merger of one of its investment companies into the Group’s holding company.
With a market capitalisation of about MUR 11 billion (USD 360million), CIEL is one of the largest listed Mauritian companies. As at 30 June 2014, its portfolio was valued at 11.7 billion Mauritian rupees. Market capitalisation as at 30 September 2014 was 10.8 billion Mauritian rupees.
Image: JF Koenig
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