NAIROBI – Pan African housing development financier Shelter Afrique has returned to profitability as reported in its 2020 earnings.
The Company’s Total comprehensive income increased to KSh 196 million (USD 1.85M) in 2020, up from a Total Comprehensive Loss of the KSh 134 million (US$1.26M) recorded in 2019, representing a 247% per cent increase, year-on-year – the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2020 notwithstanding.
Addressing the Press in Nairobi, Shelter Afrique Chairman Dr Steve Mainda said the turnaround strategy put in place in 2016 has finally paid off and that the Company was now financially viable.
“Between 2016-2018, the Company scaled down its operations and, in the process, underwent a restructuring programme which resulted in the crafting of the 2019-2023 Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan focused on three Key Strategic Goals (SGs), which are supported by key strategic objectives of achieving financial sustainability, enhancing shareholders’ value & development impact, and organisational sustainability. I wish to commend the competent team for their judicious implementation of the recovery plan which has achieved the desired results ahead of time,” Dr. Mainda said.
In the 2019-2023 Strategic Plan, the Company had projected a return to financial viability by 2020 and overall financial sustainability and profitability by 2023.
“The return to financial viability ahead of schedule as signalled by the growth in operating profit and income in 2020 is an indication that the turnaround strategy has been effective. With the robust loan pipeline of KSh89 billion (US$840M) from 2021 and beyond, the Company is poised to declare dividends to the 46 shareholders sooner,” said Shelter Afrique Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Chimphondah.
During the period under review, the Company maintained a strong liquidity position with a cash balance of KSh5.03 billion (US$47.4M), closing the year with a liquidity ratio of 27 per cent, 12 percentage points above the 15 per cent prudential limit.
The strong liquidity was achieved on the back of increased capital receipts from shareholders and successful collections from the performing loan book. A total of KSh1.775 billion (US$ 16.65M) in new capital subscriptions was received from member countries during the year.
Borrowings declined by 52 per cent to KSh3.681 billion (US$ 34.71M) in 2020 from KSh 7.599 billion (US$ 71.65M) recorded in 2019. COVID-19 impact also led to reduced net loan assets by 11% to KSh 10.78 billion (US$ 101.66M) due to low disbursements caused by the stringent underwriting controls based on an increase in reassessed credit risks.
The Chief Executive, however, noted that the significant financial milestone registered in 2020 was the successful conclusion of the Debt Restructuring Agreement (DRA) with the eight global lenders. This played a crucial role in fast-tracking the Company’s return to profitability, despite the impact of COVID-19 Pandemic, which saw the global economy fell into recession with GDP rate estimated to have declined by an average of 4.5 per cent.
“In May 2020, we signed a Debt Restructuring Agreement (DRA) with six Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and two Commercial Banks Lenders. With the full return to profitability, we are on track to fully repay this debt by June 2021, three years ahead of schedule,” Mr Chimphondah said.
Speaking at the event, the Vice-Chairman of the Board, Mr Sekou Demba said the Company was reviewing various capital raising options, including new equity capital and debt options through the issuance of local currency bonds to develop and deepen Africa’s capital markets.
“We have intensified capital subscription receipts from current shareholders, and at the same time, we are mobilising new Class “B” & “C” members. Already, Fonds De Solidarite Africain (FSA) is expected to join under Class “B” shareholding in June 2021. We also plan to raise new debt funding with current and new DFIs lenders, including possible facilities from BOAD, ICD, Credit Suisse, and the Trade Development Bank,” Mr. Demba said.
Chimphondah expanding on this said The Company was also planning to issue Local Currency Bonds amounting to KSh 53 billion (US$ 500M) Note Program; KSh 53 billion (US$ 500M) planned for East African through the Capital Market Authority of Kenya; and a minimum of KSh 10.6 billion (US$ 100M) in CFA equivalent for the CFA Zone.
Mr Chimphondah said despite COVID-19, the Company sees enormous opportunities to deliver large scale low-cost affordable housing units across the continent to improve sanitation standards, backed by healthy loan asset growth to deliver on the KSh 89 billion (US$ 840M) plus pipeline.