Crooked Brothers is a South Africa-based company specialising in the production of primary agricultural products such as sugar cane, bananas and deciduous fruit, with operations in South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia, and a major macadamia nuts and annual crops farming operation under development in Mozambique.
The company’s history dates back to 1860, when English farmer Samuel Crookes arrived in Natal and started farming sugar cane. Samuel’s sons George, Joseph and John incorporated Crookes Brother in 1913, and Crookes Brothers shares were put up for sale on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in 1948.
Today, the company’s South African farming portfolio features operations in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and the Western Cape. The company entered Swaziland with the purchase of sugar cane and citrus farms in 1957, and went on to buy a sugar cane farm in Zambia in 2010, as well as a lease for 3 000 hectares of land for macadamia cultivation in northern Mozambique.
Crookes Shares Growth Driver
The largest contributor to the group’s revenue is sugar cane, but Crookes Brothers plans to continue expanding its farming operations in southern Africa to exploit market opportunities for a variety of crops, in order to balance commodity, currency and geographic exposure.
Whilst the effects of drought have ravaged numerous farming enterprises, Crookes Brothers has managed to achieve highly impressive performance. Operating profits for the 2016 financial year increased by 44% from the previous year, whilst headline earnings per share increased by 37% to 452.9 cents. Earnings data was driven by particularly good profits from the deciduous fruits and banana divisions. This followed large scale replanting and upgrading projects undertaken by the company.
The company has a number of key projects currently being implemented, including the development of a residential housing estate at the Renishaw Hills farm in KwaZulu-Natal, continuing to buy into development of the macadamia operation in northern Mozambique and the development of a 300 hectare banana farm in southern Mozambique.
The 2016/17 year is likely to be tough for cane operations due to water scarcity, but reduced production is likely to be partially offset by strong sugar prices. Deciduous fruit volumes are anticipated to increase as the group’s new orchards come into production, whilst good yields are also forecast from banana crops.
In line with the group’s growth strategy, capital expenditure of R221 million was approved for the 2017 financial year for new investments, improvement projects and asset replacement.
Crookes Group Investor Tip
Crookes Brothers has achieved the admirable task of turning profits during one of the most difficult times ever experienced by farmers in South Africa, with Crookes Brothers share price rising. Prospects for the medium term are exciting, with the new macadamia orchards and Renishaw housing development offering good prospects for boosting the group’s already stellar financial data.
The live online stocks chart shows that Crookes Brothers share price is on an upward path, and investors looking to buy stocks in the beleaguered farming industry should look no further than Crookes Brothers shares.
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