The Board of the Seed Co International Limited (SCIL) Group has announced that the group’s final profit for the year ended 31 March 2020 is expected to be approximately 65 percent to 75 percent (between US$3.5million and US$3.9million) higher than the profit before tax amounting to US$5.2million reported for the previous year ended 31 March 2019 due to increased sales volumes and favourable currency movements on net foreign denominated receivables.
The Board also advised stakeholders that while the various COVID-19 pandemic response emergency measures adopted by governments in different markets affected the company’s operations, the main selling season for the year ended 31 March 2020 was less impacted as most sales had already been concluded by the end of December 2019. However, other value-chain operations of the business were and continue to be affected despite the agriculture business of the company falling under legally protected essential services that did not shut down completely.
In response to the catastrophic effects of the pandemic on lives and business (economy, customers, labour and logistics), the company swiftly formulated and implemented a Business Continuity Plan (BCP). Prospectively, the group takes some comfort from the fact that the seed business is at the beginning of the food value chain and this strategic positioning puts the business in good stead to benefit from the efforts of governments, development partners, major customers and other key stakeholders to ensure continued food security for the markets served and uninterrupted production and availability during and post the pandemic. The audited financial information on which this trading update is based will be released before the end of June 2020.