Crocodile breeder, Padenga Holdings, became the first listed company in Zimbabwe to hold an online annual general meeting, (AGM) as the group observed the social distancing and lockdown requirements necessary to limit the spread of Covid -19 pandemic.
Following the outbreak of the pandemic, which was declared a national disaster in March, the local bourse — the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE), allowed companies to hold their AGMs online among other measures put in place for businesses to comply with listing requirements in a safe manner.
Padenga’s AGM was held on Tuesday using the Escrow AGM platform. This was developed by the Escrow Group, a pan African Fintech company. Under the group, Corpserve is the transfer secretary.
At the AGM, shareholders voted online and among other topics on the agenda, approved a share buyback scheme.
Under this resolution, the directors sought authority to allow use of the company’s available cash resources to purchase its own shares in the market in terms of the Companies and Other Business Entities Act and the regulation of the ZSE for treasury purposes.
According to Padenga, “acquisition shall be of ordinary shares which in the aggregate in one financial year, shall not exceed 10 percent of the company’s issued share capital; and the maximum and minimum prices, respectively at which such ordinary shares may be acquired will not be more than 5 percent above and 5 percent below the weighted average of the price at which such ordinary shares are traded on the ZSE, as determined over the five business days immediately preceding the date of purchase for such ordinary shares by the company.”
If during the subsistence of this resolution, the company is unable to declare and pay a cash dividend, then the resolution shall be of no force and effect.
During the financial year 2019, the group’s overall performance was affected by evolving market conditions that impacted skin prices and increased cost inherent in meeting social licence expectations and measures to meet enhanced skin quality.
As a result, total revenue went down to US$29 million from US$37 million achieved in 2018. Profit attributed to shareholders declined to US$6,9 million compared to US$7,8 million in the prior year.
Management is upbeat of a good FY20 with the Zimbabwe operation targeting to sell 55 000 premium quality skins as it further expands its customer base. The Zimbabwe crocodile operation is the group’s flagship contributing 88 percent of the group’s total revenue.