Restructuring paying off for Unifreight – CEO

Restructuring paying off for Unifreight – CEO

HARARE, June 29 (The Source) – Unifreight Africa Limited expects to complete its restructuring exercise by year end, as the loss making logistics company seeks a return to profitability.

Chief executive Robert Kuipers told an annual general meeting on Wednesday that the benefits of the restructuring exercise have already started to accrue.

“We undertook a huge restructuring exercise which resulted in a lot of pain and substantial once off costs, but these have already started to show positive signs and we are now confident of being able to sustain the business and produce a profit at end of year,” he said.

As part of the restructuring, the group laid off about 200 employees, discontinued the local Pioneer Bus service, but kept the cross border service.

Kuipers also said the company had effected a 20 percent salary cut for remaining staff and management.

The local Pioneer service was sold off as part of an empowerment deal with its workers. The move took Unifreight to a break even position in the half-year to June from a loss of $1,3 million over the same period last year.

The CEO said losses from continuing operations in 2015 amounted to $3,4 million, but the effect was negated by the break-even position.

“The discontinued operations will continue to affect our financial statements negatively but I am confident that we would have resolved issues on discontinued operations by end of the year to give a positive result,” he said.

Kuipers said the company had this year invested about $3 million in equipment, which includes 28 new 4-tonne Isuzu vehicles and eight Scania trucks.

He said the company is also in the process of restructuring its engineering division, but did not provide details.